PPL Montana Sues EPA to Prevent Release of Coal Plant Capital Improvement Data

PPL Montana on Monday filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to block it from releasing information about its 2,094-MW coal-fired Colstrip power plant to environmental groups that had requested the data via the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The company alleges in its suit filed in Montana District Court that information submitted to the EPA related to capital improvement projects undertaken over 24 years could be used by competitors to gain market advantage.

Environmental groups Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club had requested information about the coal plant from the EPA. The EPA had notified PPL Montana April 9 that the company’s capital improvements data was not confidential and the agency planned to release the information.

PPL Montana’s four-unit Colstrip power plant is located east of Billings, Mont., and has a capacity of up to 2,094 MW. According to the company’s website, "Low-sulfur coal and state-of-the-art scrubbers restrict sulfur dioxide emissions to less than levels required by both Phase One and Phase Two of the Clean Air Act. The plant also meets Environmental Protection Agency standards for nitrogen oxides emission." The company describes the plant as the second-largest coal-fired project west of the Mississippi.

The case is PPL Montana, LLC v. Jackson et al (1:2012cv00052).

Sources: POWERnews, PPL Montana

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