Wisconsin utilities settle with EPA over coal fired units

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin settled with Wisconsin Power and Light Co. (WPL) to reduce emissions from three coal-fired power plants in the state.

WPL and plant co-owners Wisconsin Public Service Co. (WPSC), Madison Gas and Electric Co., and Wisconsin Electric Power Co. agreed to spend more than $1 billion to install emission controls, $8.5 million on environmental mitigation projects and pay a $2.45 million civil penalty to resolve the alleged Clean Air Act violations.

The settlement covers all seven coal-fired boilers at the Columbia, Edgewater and Nelson Dewey power plants. As part of the settlement, the companies must install emissions control technology on the three largest units, continuously operate the new and existing controls, and comply with emission rates and annual tonnage limitations. WPL and WPSC must retire, refuel or repower four additional coal-fired units at the Edgewater and Dewey plants.

WPL said in July that it would file to install a selective catalytic reduction system on Unit 5 at the Edgewater plant for $153 million by the end of 2012, and controls on units 1 and 2 at the Columbia plant.

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