Dozens Voice Concern at Hearing about Edwards Coal Plant

From the Sierra Club:

PEKIN, IL — Wednesday night, dozens of local residents and pollution experts voiced concern at a public hearing held by Governor Rauner’s Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) regarding an operating permit for Dynegy-Vistra’s E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant near Bartonville. The IEPA issued an initial draft “Title V” Operating Permit for E.D. Edwards in 2005. However, the permit was then “stayed” and has not become effective due to the State’s administrative review process; in other words, since 1990 the Edwards coal plant has never received a finalized Title V operating permit as required under the Federal Clean Air Act.

“The Federal Court found that this plant has violated the Clean Air Act thousands of times. After that ruling we’ve seen what appear to be thousands of more violations. . We need a strong Title V permit, that includes a plan on how the company will bring the plant back in compliance with the law, in order to hold Dynegy-Vistra accountable for this pollution.” said Faith Bugel a lawyer for the Sierra Club.

See chart outlining violations >>>
Photo of E.D. Edwards plant >>>

“I testified to make sure that the IEPA really regulates with residents like me in mind, not just the interests of big coal companies. The people have made themselves clear. It’s time for the IEPA and Dynegy-Vistra to listen up. E.D. Edwards must follow the rules.” said Nancy Long a local resident and Sierra Club member.

In 2013 public health and environmental organizations filed a lawsuit for thousands of violations of the Clean Air Act at the E.D. Edwards plant between 2008 and 2013. In 2016, a Federal judge ruled that indeed the plant had violated the Clean Air Act thousands of times. Since then the plant has continued to exceed pollution limits thousands of times from 2014 forward. These violations resulted in pollution levels unsafe for human health. Instead of holding past and present owners of the plant accountable under Federal and Illinois law, the IEPA and the Pollution Control Board (PCB) granted these corporations, who lacked lawful operating permits, pollution bailouts in 2012 and 2013. IEPA proposed yet another bailout in a 2017 rule that is currently under review at the PCB with a decision possible in early October.

The IEPA is accepting public comments on the permit until Oct. 19. You can either email epa.publichearing.com@illinois.gov or send a letter to 1021 N. Grand Avenue East PO Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794.

To find out more about the permit visit http://www.epa.illinois.gov/

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