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  1. Settlement agreement reached on coal ash at Mill Creek power plant

    Louisville Gas and Electric and the Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, have reached an agreement on the handling of direct discharges from Mill Creek’s ash pond to the Ohio River in southwest Jefferson County, Kentucky. The parties said a consent decree was filed Sept. 23 with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. LG&E and Kentucky Utilities are both part of PPL . Mill Creek is a four-unit coal plant with a total nameplate capacity of more than 1,700 MW, according to GenerationHub records. Now that LG&E and the Sierra Club have filed a proposed settlement with the court, the U.S. Department of Justice will have 45 days to review it before the court can approve. If approved by the court, this settlement will resolve the active lawsuit between the two organizations over discharged water at LG&E’s Mill Creek Generating Station under a permit issued by the Kentucky Division of Water. Per the terms of the proposed resolution, which includes no finding or agreement of any violation of law by LG&E and does not involve any fines or civil penalties, LG&E has agreed to: • Eliminate the use of a disputed open discharge point to the Ohio River by the end of 2016, with an exception for emergency situations or necessary maintenance; and • Conduct additional water sampling in the Mill Creek coal ash impoundment by the end of 2016 and submit sampling results to the Kentucky Division of Water. That sampling will coincide with additional work that LG&E will be undertaking to meet some of the new obligations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency under its 2015 rule on Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals. In addition, the proposed consent decree memorializes LG&E’s existing plans for closure of the main ash pond at Mill Creek and for the station’s compliance with the EPA’s recently-revised Effluent Limitation Guidelines. Specifically, those plans include: •Completing closure of the Mill Creek coal ash impoundment by December 2021; and •Complying with new Clean Water Act regulations requiring enhanced treatment of wastewater at Mill Creek by 2022, with pilot testing completed by 2017. Additionally, LG&E has agreed to fund $1 million in environmental enhancement projects focused on tree planting and water quality in the commonwealth, primarily focused on southwest Jefferson County. The funding will be administered by The Nature Conservancy, an independent non-profit conservation organization. Sierra Club filed this lawsuit in May 2014 to address its concerns relating to the frequency of direct discharges from Mill Creek’s ash pond to the Ohio River and whether LG&E was in compliance with the terms of its permit. In August 2015, U.S. District Judge David Hale issued an opinion finding that the disputed language in the permit covering such discharges was ambiguous, and asking the parties to present additional evidence before he could interpret it. In that same opinion, Judge Hale directed LG&E and Sierra Club to begin settlement discussions supervised by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin. One of the first things that the utility will do will be to install a second discharge pipe at Mill Creek no later than Dec. 31, 2016. LG&E may make a direct discharge from Outfall 002 to the Ohio River as necessary in emergency situations. Emergency situations include circumstances in which LG&E deems it necessary in operating the station to make direct discharges from Outfall 002 in order to prevent overtopping of the impoundments for the Main Ash Pond, according to the decree. The Kentucky Public Service Commission has already approved certificates for new environmental compliance projects at Mill Creek to help resolve coal ash issues. “We had a vigorous disagreement over the meaning of certain permit language in this case, but are glad to have reached a resolution that brings this dispute to an end,” said Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of LG&E. “While we may not always agree with the Sierra Club, we take seriously our commitment to being a good environmental steward while providing low-cost, reliable energy to our customers,” Staffieri said. "We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with LG&E that will help protect water quality in the Ohio River and fund an effort to address other water quality issues in the Mill Creek watershed,” said Judy Lyons, Chair of the Sierra Club Cumberland Chapter. “Going forward, we will continue to encourage the company to focus on expansion of renewable sources of energy as it reduces its reliance on coal.” In representing the Sierra Club in the lawsuit, Earthjustice attorney Thomas Cmar added, “It’s a good day whenever two opposing sides can see past their differences to reach an agreement that is not only in their best interests but will also provide real benefits to the community,” Cmar said. “We appreciate LG&E’s cooperation in reaching this settlement, which will improve water quality throughout the Mill Creek watershed,” Cmar added.

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    Wed, 28 Sep 2016

  2. Settlement agreement reached on coal ash at Mill Creek power plant

    Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and the Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, have reached an agreement on the handling of direct discharges from Mill Creek’s ash pond to the Ohio River in southwest Jefferson County, Kentucky.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 28 Sep 2016

  3. Arch Coal unit loses another round against EPA in court

    A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled July 19 that EPA had properly used its “broad veto authority” under the Clean Water Act in connection with a coal mining case in West Virginia 

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    Wed, 20 Jul 2016

  4. Group suing Pacific General Electric over operation of its Pelton Round Butte hydropower project

    Environmental watchdog organization Deschutes River Alliance has filed a citizen suit against Portland General Electric, claiming the operation of the utility's hydroelectric plants on the Deschutes River are in violation of the Clean Water Act .

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 18 Aug 2016

  1. Environmentalists, electric utilities eye Richmond coal ash trial

    Online Articles

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    Tue, 12 Jul 2016

  2. Mingo Logan Coal Loses Another Round Against EPA in Court

    Arch Coal subsidiary Mingo Logan Coal has lost another legal round with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in federal appeals court.

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    Wed, 20 Jul 2016

  3. Cube Hydro buys 210-MW Yadkin hydroelectric project from Alcoa

    Cube Hydro Carolinas LLC has reached an agreement with Alcoa Power Generating Inc. to purchase and upgrade four hydropower projects located on the Yadkin River in North Carolina.

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    Tue, 12 Jul 2016

  4. Wyoming Federal Judge Sides with States Industry, Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

    On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming struck down the US Bureau of Land Management’s hydraulic fracturing regulations, finding that BLM “lacked Congressional authority to promulgate the regulations.” This decision is a win for industry and states’ rights, setting aside ...

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    Fri, 15 Jul 2016

  5. Oil and Gas News: Enbridge reaches $176M agreement for 2010 Michigan oil spill

    Enbridge Energy Partners has reached a $176 million settlement for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history — a pipeline rupture in southwestern Michigan that polluted a nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River, federal officials said Wednesday.

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    Thu, 21 Jul 2016

  6. Hydroelctric Power News: Group sues to force pollution disclosure at Washington dam

    An environmental group sued the federal agency that operates the nation's largest hydropower producer Wednesday, saying operations at the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state are polluting the Columbia River in violation of federal clean-water laws.

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    Fri, 1 Jul 2016

  7. Enbridge resolves federal charges stemming from 2010 pipeline leaks

    Enbridge Energy Partners LP agreed to pay $177 million to resolve federal charges stemming from 2010 leaks from crude oil pipelines in Illinois and Michigan, the US Department of Justice and US Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced.  

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    Wed, 20 Jul 2016

  8. Rate design, Exelon chief Q&A highlights NARUC’s summer committee meetings

    The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners concluded a successful series of summer meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, and adopted several important resolutions across utility sectors

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 1 Aug 2016

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