RESET: Environmental Watchdog Group Highlights Concerns About Mercury Emissions by Proposed Oak Creek Power Plant
Citizen group raises questions at public hearing in Oak Creek
OAK CREEK – Members of Citizens for Responsible Power today asked the Army Corps of Engineers to further investigate mercury emissions by We Energies’ proposed coal-burning power plant in Oak Creek.
“As recent events have made clear, the Department of Natural Resources and Public Service Commission have not given this proposal a thorough investigation,” said Steve Bulik of Citizens for Responsible Power. “When a U.S. EPA employee calls the state’s permitting process a ‘sham,’ it’s no surprise that citizens have a lot of questions.”
The Army Corps of Engineers must provide a permit before construction of the proposed 1200-MW coal-burning plant can begin construction on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Corps held the public hearing to listen to residents’ concerns about the plant before it makes a deciding whether or not perform an Environmental Impact Statement on the project.
Community members raised concerns about a wide range of unanswered questions. Many of those questions focused on the incomplete environmental impact statement produced by Wisconsin‘s Department of Natural Resources and the Public Service Commission and the plant’s true mercury emission levels.
Bulik said, “There remain some real questions about the fate of the mercury produced by this plant. More than 1,200 pounds of toxic mercury would be generated from the new units based on the type and amount of coal being burned. Three hundred pounds will be emitted into the air, but the amount discharged into Lake Michigan and turned into gypsum wallboard is unknown. Nobody has shown me a satisfactory answer as to how much of the mercury will be produced or where it will go.”
Citizens who were unable to attend the public hearing have 10 days to submit written comments to the Corps. The mailing address for those comments is St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CEMVP-CO-R, 190 Fifth Street East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-1638. Concerned citizens can also show their support for an independent review of the project by signing an online petition. The petition is located at www.resetwisconsin.org.
Citizens for Responsible Power is a grassroots organization that focuses primarily on residential utility customers of Wisconsin Energies (WE) and is committed to advocating for a cleaner, more responsible energy generation in SE Wisconsin.
About RESET Wisconsin
RESET, or Responsible Energy for Southeastern Wisconsin’s Tomorrow, is a coalition of concerned citizens, businesses, organizations and others who care about our region’s future.