FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/8/2013
COURT RULES AGAINST ENERGY FUTURE HOLDINGS & LUMINANT IN COAL PLANT AIR POLLUTION LAWSUIT INVOLVING BIG BROWN COAL PLANT
Dallas, Texas – On Wednesday, a federal judge in Waco denied a motion filed by Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings and its subsidiary Luminant seeking dismissal of an air pollution lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club. The lawsuit involves excessive levels of particulate matter, or soot. The Sierra Club lawsuit is based on data and information that the utility company (formerly called TXU) filed with state environmental regulators, in which the company reveals thousands of violations of clean air standards meant to protect families from coal-fired pollution. Soot from coal-fired power plants contribute to asthma, heart attacks, and thousands of premature deaths every year. In addition, recent scientific studies have confirmed that soot is a potent contributor to climate disruption.
In its order, the Court found all of the company’s arguments “to be without merit.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also cited the utility company for additional Clean Air Act violations involving illegal modifications that the company allegedly made at two of its coal-fired power plants, including the Big Brown plant. EPA alleges the company made major changes to the facility without installing the modern pollution controls that are required by law.
Ilan Levin, associate director for the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project, which is representing the Sierra Club in the lawsuit, said: “The Court’s ruling allows our lawsuit to move forward and proceed to trial. We look forward to proving our case and to bringing this power plant into compliance with basic air pollution standards.”
Bruce Nilles, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign said: “Energy Future Holding’s data shows that the Big Brown coal plant has repeatedly violated fundamental clean air safeguards. It is time for the company to comply with the law. At a time when wind energy is producing record amounts of power, tax revenue, and jobs in West Texas, we don’t need 40-year old power plants that can’t play by the rules.”