Attorney General Curtis Hill announced that Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) has agreed to resolve alleged violations of federal and Indiana law by undertaking measures to improve environmental compliance at its fossil fuel-fired steam electric plant in Pike County.
The company agreed this week to settle a federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The settlement resolves allegations that IPL violated the federal Clean Air Act and related Indiana laws.
The settlement requires IPL to reduce the Petersburg Generating Station’s excess emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and sulfuric acid mist. IPL may accomplish this reduction in one of two ways:
1. Installing and operating a pollution control device known as a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) system; or
2. Permanently retiring two coal-fired units at the Petersburg plant earlier than originally planned.
Retiring two coal-fired units would result in emissions reductions significantly greater than any reductions that would be achieved by installing and operating the SNCR. Therefore, IPL may forego installing that control device if it retires the two coal-fired units before July 1, 2030, which is the deadline under the consent decree by which IPL must install the SNCR.
Additionally, IPL will pay a civil penalty of $1.525 million as part of the settlement. The State of Indiana will receive $600,000, and the remaining money will go to the U.S. IPL will also spend $325,000 to restore and preserve ecologically significant parcels of land near the Petersburg plant.
“Clean air is vital to Hoosiers’ long-term health, and IPL’s commitment to reducing the emissions from its Petersburg Generating Station is an environmentally conscious step in the right direction,” Attorney General Hill said.
Lastly, the agreement says IPL will also undertake a $5 million project to mitigate the harm to the environment caused by the plant’s excess emissions over the years. IPL will submit a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency and to the State of Indiana to construct and operate a system that will provide a new, non-emitting source of power at an on-site location known as the auxiliary electrical unit. The new source of power is expected to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter from that unit.