Federal government files lawsuit regarding OG&E power plant imporvements

Oklahoma Gas & Electric OG&E Muskogee Sooner coal-fired power plant Clean Air Act lawsuit Justice Department

The federal government has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. (OG&E) accusing the utility of violating the Clean Air Act by failing to estimate the amount of harmful emissions that would come from upgrades at two coal-fired power plants, according to a report from The Oklahoman.

The report states the lawsuit claims OG&E did not seek required permits for more than $50 million in upgrades performed at its Muskogee and Sooner power plants and did not properly assess the impact the construction projects would have on future emissions.

OG&E was notified of the violation in April 2011, and the U.S. Justice Department sent a letter to the utility offering to open settlement negotiations earlier this year, The Oklahoman reported.

OGE&E spokesman Brian Alford told The Oklahoman that monitoring data submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality showed emissions from the plants did not increase after the upgrades. He added OG&E believes it is in compliance with all state and federal regulations and intends to “vigorously defend” itself in the lawsuit.

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