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|Midwest Power Plant Coming Under Fire
|A coalition of Illinois health and environmental groups is intending to sue a power plant owner they say is not within Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
Several groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, have given Midwest Generation a 60-day notice of intent to sue.
Midwest runs six coal-fired power plants in Northern Illinois. According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, the pollution from those coal-fired plants cause 216 premature deaths and 2,850 emergency room visits annually.
The plants are "dangerous relics that would never be placed in the middle of urban neighborhoods today," says Henry Henderson, director of the Midwest NRDC. "It is well time for them to clean up or close for good."
Faith Bugel, senior attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, says Midwest has resisted installing pollution controls and violated federal laws in order to run the plants.
The lawsuit focuses on the amount of fine dust and soot that stays close to the plants, causing negative health effects. The EPA issued a notice of violation to Midwest in 2007 but, according to environmental groups, has done nothing to enforce cleanup.
Because of their age, Midwest's plants are subject to more lenient regulations than modern plants. Bugel says that plants could clean up by installing fabric filters.
In a statement issued by Midwest Generation, the company says it has made significant environmental improvements since 1999. Midwest also says it has entered into an agreement with the State of Illinois which provides for steep reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions by 2012 and Sulfur Dioxide emissions by 2013.
A spokesman for Midwest says the two Chicago power plants that constantly come under attack from environmental groups are among the most efficient plants in the state and their emissions are among the lowest.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|07 28 09 by Newsroom
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