Coal-fired power plant modifications negotiated

The Sierra Club and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday announced a settlement with Alliant Energy that requires Alliant to stop burning coal at the Nelson Dewey coal plant in Cassville and two units at the Edgewater coal plant, Sheboygan. Today’s agreement will secure the retirement of 590 megawatts of coal. The agreement also requires installation of pollution safeguards on one unit at the Edgewater coal plant and both units at Columbia coal plant, a significant source of pollution for Dane County and other counties downwind. Further, the owners of the fleet of coal plants have pledged to invest $8.5 million on environmental projects and clean energy investments, continuing the increased use of wind and solar as part of the region’s energy mix.

The agreement, filed in Federal Court, follows a 2010 lawsuit for Clean Air Act violations at Alliant’s plants. The settlement also brings nearly a decade of citizen activism against coal and coal pollution to a major milestone, achieving the retirement of more than 1,500 megawatts of coalfired generation statewide – or the retirement of 17% of Wisconsin’s total coal fleet. This legal and grassroots organizing effort has also resulted in the clean-up of some of Wisconsin’s biggest coal plants.

“Over the last several years, Wisconsin has effectively begun to transition away from our oldest, dirtiest sources of coal-powered electricity and made way for 21st-century clean energy technology,” said Jennifer Feyerherm, Organizer with Sierra Club.

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