Environmental Group Sues Wisconsin State Agency
Last week, the Wisconsin Sierra Club sued the state’s Department of Natural Resources, saying that agency has failed to provide requested records on several state-owned coal plants. The Sierra Club is trying to ensure that the plants are in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act.
The group requested the records in October.
The plants in question are at UW La Crosse, UW Eau Claire, UW Stevens Point and UW Stout. They have all undergone modifications which may require them to install additional pollution controls.
Wisconsin Governor Doyle decided to take one plant, at UW Madison, completely off coal – shifting to biomass and natural gas – after a federal judge decided that the plant was violating the Clean Air Act. “The governor gets credit for making the right decision, but it’s been a long haul,” says Jennifer Feyerherm, director of Sierra Club’s Wisconsin Clean Energy Campaign. “The governor talks a lot about how moving to biomass will help create jobs. He should make his legacy getting all the state-owned plants off of coal.”
The state currently contracts with two companies for its coal, one of which is Massey Energy, the largest practitioner of mountaintop removal coal mining in the country.
— Suzanne Bopp