A federal district judge in Waco today ruled for Luminant in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club alleging Clean Air Act violations at the Big Brown Power Plant in Freestone County.
Following a three-day non-jury trial, Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. ruled that no violations had occurred at the plant and denied all of the Sierra Club’s requested relief.
In response to the judge’s decision, Stephanie Zapata Moore, Luminant’s vice president and general counsel said, “This is a significant legal victory for our company. This decision is a full vindication and demonstrates the integrity of each and every Luminant employee.”
The Sierra Club’s lawsuit, filed in May, 2012, alleged that Luminant had violated the Clean Air Act based on certain emissions that occurred during maintenance, startup and shutdown events at the plant from July 2007 to the present. The lawsuit requested more than $330 million in civil penalties and sought an injunction requiring Luminant to replace the existing emissions-control equipment with new equipment at a cost of approximately $140 million. The court, however, found that the Sierra Club’s allegations were without merit.
Luminant CEO Mac McFarland said following the ruling, “Our employees take pride in being careful stewards of the environment. No one has more experience than Luminant in using coal to generate electricity in a way that is conscious of the environment and with an exceptional track record of exemplary environmental compliance. When that record is challenged we will defend our position.”