U.S. Accuses Electricity Co-op of Polluting

      INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – An Indiana electricity co-op is releasing pollution from two units at a coal-fired plant without the necessary permits, the government claims in Federal Court.

     The United States and Indiana allege that Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative modified and continued to operate coal-fired generators at the Merom Generating Station without installing the best control technology and without first obtaining permits.
     This is releasing more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter into an area that had previously met air quality standards, the state and federal governments say.
     When the co-op replaced heaters at the two units in 2008 and 2009, it should have gone through a process to assure that it used the best available technology to control emissions, the government claims.
     Now, the government wants Hoosier Energy to stop operating until it follows the correct procedures.
     The co-op faces fines of $32,500 to $37,500 per day.
     Indiana and the United States are represented by Indiana Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno and Jason Dunn of the Justice Department.

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