STATUS: In progress with opposition
OPPOSITION: Sierra Club
BACKGROUND: In 2006 NRG submitted an application to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for conversion of two boilers at the Big Cajun I power plant from natural gas to coal and petroleum coke. In May 2007, DEQ issued draft permits. In March 2008, Sierra Club and its allies sent a notice of intent to sue in federal court under the Clean Air Act for failing to meet the maximum emission control limitations (MACT) for hazardous air pollutants. This was in keeping with its national strategy to litigate against all coal projects. In April, Sierra Club and others sued in State court to overturn the air permit, alleging it allows the plant to emit excessive levels of hazardous air pollutants such as mercury, lead and arsenic, at its proposed plant.
In September 2009, DEQ approved a modified PSD/Title V operating permit. Sierra Club and its allies sued again, claiming the permit violated MACT.
The two suits are pending. The plant continues to operate using natural gas.
LAST UPDATED: November 23, 2010