Sierra Club Sues EPA Over Emission Violations At Power Plants - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Sierra Club Sues EPA Over Emission Violations At Oklahoma Power Plants

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WASHINGTON, D.C -

The Sierra Club has filed a federal lawsuit against the EPA, claiming that a loophole in federal regulations allows Oklahoma power plants to exceed emissions standards.

The environmental group claims that power plants in the state, like the Oklahoma Gas and Electric's plant in Muskogee are permitted to exceed emissions standards during certain phases of operations.

Read The Complaint Filed In Federal Court in Washington, DC.

The Sierra Club says the loophole concerns the "pollution excuse provision" which states coal plants can turn off pollution controls when starting up, shutting down, or performing maintenance on a malfunctioning plant.

"People can't hold their breath while coal plants power up or shut down; limits on harmful air pollution from power plants must apply all the time. If polluters can violate their pollution limits when it isn't convenient for them to comply, people in Oklahoma have no assurance that they can take a safe breath." said Whitney Pearson, Associate Organizing Representative with Sierra Club. "Air quality data from 2011 shows that Tulsa and Oklahoma City suffered from extremely high levels of ozone, which triggers asthma attacks and respiratory illness in vulnerable people."

A spokesman for OG&E says the company will follow whatever process the EPA approves.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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