Sierra Club Takes Action as DTE Extends Life of Dirty Coal Plant without Proper Permits
September 29, 2010
On September 28, Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council took action to curb illegal air pollution at an aging coal-fired power plant in eastern Michigan. The Club intervened in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a lawsuit challenging DTE Energy’s failure to comply with stringent, public-health based emissions limitations when it upgraded its massive Monroe coal plant, in violation of the Clean Air Act. The $65 million upgrade project will significantly increase sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxide emissions at the facility.
DTE Energy, through its subsidiary Detroit Edison Co., owns and operates seven coal-fired power plants in Michigan, ranging in age from 25 to nearly 70 years, with a collective generating capacity of more than 7,000 megawatts. These coal plants are huge polluters, emitting thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, and millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year. These pollutants contribute to climate change, respiratory distress, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide also contribute to acid rain, which sterilizes lakes and damages property, crops and forests. Many of the coal boilers in DTE’s fleet lack state-of-the-art pollution control technology. Last year, EPA sent DTE a notice of violation for illegally upgrading five of its coal-fired power plants without going through the required Clean Air Act permitting process.
Details and Documents:
DTE's Dirty Expansion: Illegal Effort to Avoid Coal Plant Clean Up
September 28, 2010, Sierra Club, NRDC Press Release
See other "Retiring Old Coal" cases.