Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Sierra Club criticizes Michigan decision on coal plant permits

The Sierra Club joined EarthJustice and local community leaders in criticizing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for agreeing to DTE Energy’s draft permits for the River Rouge and Trenton Channel coal plants that do not provide for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission reductions.

“MDEQ has demonstrated yet again that it is not willing to take the steps that its own analysis has shown are needed to bring air quality in Wayne County into compliance with public health standards,” Michigan Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Regina Strong said. “It is shameful that the state won’t do what is necessary to protect the communities in Detroit and downriver.”

As they were approved by the MDEQ, the permits will not allow Wayne County to come into compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for SO2. DTE Energy creates 85 percent of the county’s SO2 pollution, mostly from the power plants in question.

“We can only hope that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will step in and do what MDEQ apparently lacks the political will to do – require meaningful reductions in sulfur dioxide air pollution from DTE’s dirty and aging coal plants,” Strong said.

Organizations in this Story

Sierra Club U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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