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Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. asks judge to dismiss federal complaint over coal plant upgrades

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. wants a federal judge to dismiss a complaint brought by regulators that the utility didn't adequately estimate future emissions from a series of upgrades to its coal plants in Red Rock and Muskogee.
by Paul Monies Published: September 10, 2013

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has asked a federal judge to dismiss a case brought by the Environmental Protection Agency over emissions estimates from a series of modifications to its coal plants.

Attorneys for OG&E said additional emissions from the projects at its Sooner and Muskogee coal plants did not meet the standards for “significant” emissions increases under the Clean Air Act. They said emissions after the modifications were found to be lower than the utility first estimated.

“There have been no ‘significant' increases in covered pollutants, and indeed, emissions levels have actually decreased following the projects in most cases,” OG&E attorneys said in documents filed Friday in federal court in Oklahoma City.

The attorneys said OG&E provided the state Department of Environmental Quality with emissions data that confirmed its pre-construction emissions projections.

OG&E also said the government's complaint wasn't timely because it's been more than six years since the last project began. While the Clean Air Act doesn't have a defined statute of limitations, OG&E's attorneys said five years was applicable for the enforcement of penalties or civil fines under another federal law.

“Indeed, it was not until April 26, 2011, several years after the projects commenced, that EPA issued a Notice of Violation (‘NOV') to OG&E as part of its ongoing quest to penalize coal-fired electric plants,” the attorneys wrote.

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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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