UNITED STATES AGREES WITH POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY TO RESOLVE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT
WASHINGTON (August 31, 2020)The United States announced today that Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) has agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Indiana law by undertaking measures to improve its environmental compliance at the Petersburg Generating Station, in Pike County, Indiana. The State of Indiana is also a party to today’s agreement.
The settlement agreement resolves the claims under the Clean Air Act and related Indiana laws that the United States and Indiana have alleged against IPL in the complaint filed today in federal district court for the Southern District of Indiana.
The agreement, which is memorialized in a consent decree lodged today in the district court, requires IPL to reduce its plant’s emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM) and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4). IPL will install a pollution control device known as a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction System (SNCR) on one of the plant’s coal-fired units, upgrade its sulfuric acid mitigation system, and continually operate all of its pollution control equipment to meet levels that will achieve reductions in NOx, SO2, PM and H2SO4 emissions.
The agreement recognizes that IPL may permanently retire two of its Petersburg units earlier than it had planned. Retirement of those units would result in emission reductions significantly greater than any reductions achieved by installing and operating the SNCR. Thus, IPL may forego installing that control device if it in fact retires the two units prior to July 1, 2023, the deadline under the consent decree by which IPL must install the SNCR.
Further, IPL will pay a total civil penalty of $1.525 million, of which $925,000 will go to the United States and $600,000 to the State of Indiana.
“The citizens of Indiana will breathe cleaner air, thanks to IPL’s agreement to significantly decrease its excess emissions,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan D. Brightbill for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We are pleased that our Indiana State counterparts have worked closely with our federal team to achieve this favorable result for the environment.”
“Working together with our state partners, EPA is helping to make the air cleaner in Indiana,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “This agreement will significantly reduce excess emissions of harmful air pollutants to protect public health and our environment.”
“Clean air is vital to Hoosiers’ long-term health, and IPL’s commitment to reducing the emissions from its Petersburg Generating Station is an environmentally conscious step in the right direction,” said Curtis Hill, Attorney General of Indiana.
Under the agreement, IPL will also undertake a project costing $5 million to mitigate the harm to the environment caused by the plant’s excess emissions over the years. IPL will submit a proposal to EPA and the State to construct and operate a system that will provide a new, non-emitting source of power at an on-site location known as the auxiliary electrical unit. The new source of power is expected to reduce emissions of SO2, NOx and PM from that unit.
In addition, at the request of Indiana, IPL will expend $325,000 to undertake a state-only environmentally beneficial project designed to restore and preserve some ecologically significant parcels of land near the plant.
Today’s settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period following notification in the Federal Register and to final approval by the court. To view the consent decree or to submit a comment, visit the Department’s website at: www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
For more information on this settlement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/indianapolis-power-light-settlement-information-sheet.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.