The Justice Department filed its complaint against OG&E in July on behalf of the EPA. The government said the utility failed to properly estimate emissions changes at its coal plants before it made eight renovations totaling $80 million from 2003 to 2006.
OG&E told the Department of Environmental Quality it planned to make the modifications, but EPA said those plans weren't detailed enough.
“OG&E said its action plan sufficed for compliance, but in fact it is a road map for evasion,” the government said in an Aug. 30 filing in the case.
Government attorneys quoted OG&E internal memos discussing the plans for some of the projects.
“Plainly, OG&E's own discussions of its facility upgrades highlight the concern that the work may well lead to an emissions increase in the years to come, after the expiration of the company's temporary management plan,” the government's attorneys said.
Separately, OG&E also faces a similar lawsuit from the Sierra Club. The environmental group said OG&E didn't take out the required permit when it made modifications to a coal unit at its Muskogee plant in 2008. The utility has said it believes it has complied with the law.