Federal judge allows Sierra Club lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. to proceed

A federal judge in Muskogee allowed a lawsuit challenging the legality of an upgrade and emissions from an OG&E coal plant to proceed on a limited basis.
by Paul Monies Published: March 6, 2014

A Sierra Club lawsuit challenging the legality of upgrades and emissions at an Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. coal plant in Muskogee can proceed on a limited basis, a federal judge has determined.

In an order issued late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James H. Payne denied in part OG&E’s motion to dismiss the case. However, he agreed with the utility that the Sierra Club’s lawsuit came too late to make claims under a section of the federal Clean Air Act called New Source Review.

Payne limited the case to arguments over whether OG&E properly accounted for emissions of soot, also known as particulate matter. The case involves a 2008 modification to a coal unit at OG&E’s Muskogee generating plant.

Whitney Pearson, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal organizer in Oklahoma, said she was glad the court allowed the soot claims to move forward. The Sierra Club filed the lawsuit in August in federal court in Muskogee.

“This means that Oklahomans who live downwind from the plant and are at risk from soot pollution right now will have their day in court,” Pearson said in a statement.

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by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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