TXU’s parent company, Energy Future Holdings, has yet another legal issue to contend with. EFH is once again being sued over it’s highly pollutive Luminant plant in Longview, Texas. The coal-fired plant, known as Big Brown, is one of the dirtiest in the nation, and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and the Sierra Club are filing suit against it.
Luminant, TXU and Oncor were purchased together by EFH in 2006, and have lost massive amounts of money every quarter since then. Luminant has three coal plants in North Texas that rank among the nation’s top ten worst polluting industrial facilities. Those three plants (Big Brown, Martin Lake and Monticello) alone make up 25% of all the industrial pollution in Texas, and they account for 46% of all pollution related to electricity generation in the state. That is staggering considering there are over 125 power plants of their size in Texas.
Dr. Neil Caiman, Air Program Director of the Lonestar Chapter of the Sierra Club, had this to say about the lawsuit:
Luminant self-monitors its plants, and according to the company’s own data, the Big Brown plant has violated the requirements of its own air permit thousands of times. What’s troubling is that Luminant’s Big Brown plant has very lenient pollution standards compared to other power plants, and the plant is still pumping out more than three times the legal limit. That impacts the health and wellbeing of Texans. For far too long Luminant has failed to clean up its harmful pollution and chosen not to install pollution controls, even as many other power plant operators were cleaning up their plants. Those days are over and in order to bring Big Brown into compliance, Luminant must decide if it will clean up the power plant or retire it.