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Justice Department sues Luminant over coal plants

The U.S. Justice Department sued Dallas-based Luminant Generation Friday in Dallas federal court, apparently over emissions at two northeast Texas coal-fired power plants. The suit was filed on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to court documents related to the case. But the main complaint by the government was sealed, based on Luminant’s claims that the suit contains confidential business information at its Martin Lake and Big Brown facilities. A Luminant spokesman said the company could not comment until it reviewed the suit.

The Sierra Club said Friday the suit is an enforcement action related to a previous EPA notice to Luminant for violations of the federal Clean Air Act. The group said those violations involved unauthorized changes to the Big Brown plant, east of Tyler, and the Martin Lake plant, near Fairfield that should have prompted Luminant to apply for new permits and install additional pollution control equipment. Luminant has two appeals pending before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals concerning EPA actions against it. Those appeals argue that the agency overstepped its authority and failed to support its contention that changes at the power plants increased emissions.

Luminant is owned by Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, the former TXU Corp.

-- Jim Fuquay


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