Monday, October 27, 2008

Coal Plant Construction, Part 2 (Intent To Sue EPA)

See Part 1 here.

Correspondence from Anne Hedges, MEIC, dated October 22nd:

Subject: MEIC, CCE and Sierra Club tell EPA to stop construction at Highwood

Today CCE, MEIC, and Sierra Club filed two 60-day notices of intent to sue EPA under the federal Clean Air Act. (Things have progressed since this morning for those I’ve spoken with previously).

The law requires SME to have all permits under the federal Clean Air Act in place prior to commencing construction at a site. SME does not have either its MACT permit for hazardous air pollutants nor its prevention of significant deterioration permit (primary federal permit). Both of those permits cannot be issued until completion of the Nov. 5th public comment period. The law is clear and EPA should force SME to stop all construction activities.

While we have to wait 60 days before we can file suit in federal court, SME is liable for $25,000 per day for each day it is constructing without a permit. The purpose of having to wait 60 days before filing suit is to give the agency time to fix the problem. So we are calling upon EPA to make SME stop construction activities immediately until such time as it has complied with the law and received the proper permits.

Anne Hedges
Program Director Montana Environmental Information Center

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