Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Sierra Club Files Suit Against Luminant

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The lawsuit says Luminant has violated the Clean Air Act. (Pictured: the AEP coal plant in West Virginia.)

This week the Sierra Club filed a federal lawsuit against Energy Future Holdings Corp. and its subsidiary, Luminant Generation Company. The Sierra Club alleges that Luminant’s Big Brown coal-fired power plant has “thousands of ongoing air pollution violations” of the Clean Air Act. The plant is located approximately 65 miles northeast of Waco in Freestone County.

The Sierra Club says that the particular emission from the Big Brown power plant is excessive soot. Soot is particularly harmful, mentions the press release, because it “contributes to asthma, heart attacks, serious respiratory illnesses, and thousands of premature deaths every year.” They also say that it contains mercury and other toxic chemicals.

In an e-mail to Stateimpact Texas, Ashley Barrie of Luminant offered this response: “Luminant stands by its strong track record of exemplary compliance in meeting or outperforming all environmental laws, rules, and regulations.” She says that the Sierra Club’s suit is based on “unfounded accusations from a group that has made these same claims before.”

The Sierra Club says, though, that the data they used comes from Luminant’s own company records. They say that the “power plant violated its particulate matter, or smog, limits at least 370 times in the past three and a half years.”

This is not the first time that the Sierra Club has brought suit against Luminant for alleged violations at coal-fired power plants. One case from September of 2010 involving the Martin Lake power plant in Rusk County is still pending.

Daniel Ramirez, an intern at StateImpact Texas, reported this article.


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