University of Wisconsin Required to Clean Up Dinosaur Coal Plant
November 7, 2007
On November 7, 2007 a federal judge vindicated the Sierra Club's efforts to clean up the University of Wisconsin's outdated, dirty coal-fired power plant. The Honorable John C. Shabaz of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin issued an order finding the University of Wisconsin and the State Department of Administration in violation of the federal Clean Air Act for the past 5 years as they rebuilt the fifty-year old Charter Street Power Plant piecemeal without notifying DNR, without obtaining the necessary permits, and without installing modern pollution controls. The UW Charter Street facility located in downtown Madison was built in 1954 with second-hand boilers and burns coal to produce steam for heating and cooling the University of Wisconsin campus. The plant is jointly operated by the University and the State Department of Administration.
In 1977 Congress exempted existing power plants from immediately installing pollution controls but envisioned within a decade that all power plants would either retire or have pollution controls installed. Congress did not intend that in 2007, thirty years later, that aging power plants would still be spewing unabated dangerous levels of air pollution into the air. In this ruling, the federal court found that Charter Street was one of the facilities that had systematically skirted the clean air act and was long overdue for clean up.
May 3, 2007
On May 3, 2007 the Sierra Club took legal action against the University of Wisconsin and the State Department of Administration. The Sierra Club's complaint alleges that the University violated the federal Clean Air Act over the past decade as they repeatedly patched, repaired, and rebuilt the fifty-year old Charter Street Power Plant. The Charter Street facility located in downtown Madison was built in 1954, burns coal to produce steam for heating and cooling the University of Wisconsin campus, and is jointly operated by the University and the State Department of Administration. The Clean Air Act requires that old plants be retrofitted with modern pollution controls when they undergo the type of modifications made to Charter Street . The complaint further alleges that the University did not notify DNR, get the appropriate permits, or install modern pollution controls when it spent millions of dollars to rebuild the Charter Street plant.
Details and Documents:
EPA wants specifics on coal plant cleanup
January 15, 2008 by Ed Trevelen, Wisconsin State Journal
See other "Retiring Old Coal" cases.