SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 24, 2011

EPA pursues Michigan's largest coal-fired plant

(Continued)

MONROE, Mich. —

A year ago, DTE turned off Unit 2 for three months to replace boiler parts and improve the plant's efficiency. The EPA said it knew nothing about the project until it read a story in The Monroe Evening News, headlined: "Extreme Makeover: Power Plant Edition," which described the work and its benefit to the local economy.

The utility has insisted it was nothing more than "routine maintenance" that is standard in the industry. The EPA, however, said it was a modification that easily required state-of-the-art technology to eliminate virtually all emissions at a plant open since the 1970s.

Capturing those emissions would be the equivalent of taking 371,000 heavy-duty trucks and 1 million passenger cars off the road, said Lyle Chinkin, an air-quality expert and president of Sonoma Technology in Petaluma, Calif.

To bolster its case, the government turned to Joel Schwartz, an expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, who predicts there will be 90 to 100 premature deaths a year among people exposed to pollution from the Monroe plant. DTE dismisses those as "alarmist assertions."

While the case moves through court, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman has told the utility it can keep Unit 2 operating at or below the level that existed before last year's project.

DTE spokesman John Austerberry said what gets lost is the company's decade-long accomplishment of making other parts of the Monroe power plant cleaner. "It's not like changing a muffler on a car," he said. "These are huge construction projects. It takes years to complete."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The Nation

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Raw: Massive Fire Burns in North Dakota Town Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Weather Gives Washington Firefighters Hope Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open