Luminant says it will contest new EPA lawsuit

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Luminant Generation says it will contest a federal lawsuit filed Friday against the company and two of its coal-fired power plants on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a statement Monday, Luminant said, “We firmly believe that we have complied with all requirements of the Clean Air Act for these two plants and our other generation facilities.” It called Friday’s lawsuit, filed by the Justice Department, “the next step in the process which will likely continue for several years.”

The formal complaint is sealed because it contains confidential business information, but it is related to a legal battle between the Dallas-based company and the EPA over pollution controls at the East Texas power plants. Luminant, the state’s largest electricity generator and a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, has appeals before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the matter.

According to court documents, the EPA maintains that changes at the Big Brown plant near Fairfield and the Martin Lake plant east of Tyler triggered requirements for new permits and pollution equipment upgrades at the facilities.

“The EPA claims that certain routine maintenance work involving repairs and replacements of boiler components at Big Brown and Martin Lake required preconstruction permits,” Luminant’s statement said. “We do not believe that the preconstruction permits were required.”

On Friday, the Sierra Club praised the EPA lawsuit, calling it “reassurance that public health protections are finally coming to many Texas communities.” Charles McPhedran, an attorney for Earthjustice, which represents the Sierra Club in a separate case against Luminant, said, “This action will cut air pollution and help these communities breathe easier.”

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay

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