Sierra Club: Statement regarding the WDNR extension of hours for the public hearing on WPDES Permit No.WI-0000914-07-0

Comments by Eric Uram, Sierra Club Regional Representative regarding the WDNR extension of hours for the public hearing on WPDES Permit No.WI-0000914-07-0

After formally requesting an extension of the mid-afternoon hearing times first announced by WDNR, the Sierra Club appreciates the evening hours WDNR has indicated they will hold around the re-issuance of the Oak Creek Power Plant Clean Water Act permit. This extension will allow more concerned citizens, especially those with obligations during the day, to learn about and comment on the impacts of WE Energies’ proposal on Lake Michigan.

The proposed permit reflects WE Energies plan for constructing cooling and wastewater systems for two new 615 MW coal-fired units as well as a replacing the cooling and wastewater systems for the existing coal-fired power plant already in operation there.

If approved, the proposal would allow WE Energies to pump up to 2.2 billion gallons of water a day from an offshore intake through the facility before releasing heated water back into the lake.

The huge amount of water will allow WE Energies to dilute their mercury discharge to meet the Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative standard for mercury in their waste water discharges.

In addition, the proposed new intake structure and heated discharge will kill, directly and indirectly, large numbers of Yellow Perch, other native fish, as well as the food they rely upon.

WE Energies proposed power plant and its wastewater and cooling system come at too high a cost to Lake Michigan, subjecting the lake to thermal pollution, wastewater contaminated by toxic mercury, and fish kills.

We urge all citizens interested in protecting Lake Michigan to participate in this hearing, which will be the last one open to the public on this proposed coal-fired power plant.

For further information regarding this statement call 608-257-4994.