An environmental group has filed suit against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as it seeks documents on state owned, coal fired power plants. Jennifer Feyerherm is director of the Sierra Club’s Wisconsin Clean Energy Campaign. “We’ve asked the DNR for records that they have, looking at the compliance of state owned coal plants,” Feyerherm said. “Back in October, we asked the DNR to share with us the analysis that they had done, on whether those plants were compliant with the Clean Air Act or not, and we haven’t gotten documents responsive to that request.”

The plants in question are at UW La Crosse, UW Eau Claire, UW Stevens Point and UW Stout. The Charter Street plant on the UW Madison campus is in the process of switching from coal to biomass. But Feyerherm says the other four coal plants have been modified in ways that may put them out of compliance. “The Clean Air Act requires that when you modify a coal plant, such that when you’re done modifying it, it can put out more pollution than it could before you started the modification, it’s at that point that you need to put on pollution controls,” said Feyerherm. “The facilities should have pollution controls that they don’t currently have.”

Feyerherm said required pollution controls such as scrubbers would cut pollution from the plants – including particulates, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide – by as much as ninety percent. The lawsuit was filed in Dane County circuit court.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:65 Mp3) UDIO: Bob Hague reports (:65 MP3)

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