Federal judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. ruled on Feb. 26 that Luminant had not violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) at its Big Brown Power Plant in Freestone County, Tex., as had been claimed in a Sierra Club lawsuit.
Filed in May 2012, the lawsuit alleged that from July 2007 to the present certain emissions from the plant had violated CAA requirements. The lawsuit had requested more than $330 million in civil penalties and an injunction requiring Luminant to replace the existing emissions-control equipment with new equipment costing an estimated $140 million.
Big Brown consists of two supercritical units with a total capacity of 1,190 MW. In 2008, POWER selected it as the Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group Plant of the Year. The units came online in 1971 and 1972, respectively.
“Our employees take pride in being careful stewards of the environment. No one has more experience than Luminant in using coal to generate electricity in a way that is conscious of the environment and with an exceptional track record of exemplary environmental compliance. When that record is challenged we will defend our position,” Luminant CEO Mac McFarland said.
—Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)