Sierra Club, Talen Energy strike deal to halt coal burn at Pennsylvania plant
- The Sierra Club and Talen Energy Corp. have reached an agreement to limit, and ultimately phase out, coal burn at a Pennsylvania plant during the "ozone season," from May through September. Under terms of the settlement, Brunner will operate only on natural gas from May 1 through Sept. 30 beginning in 2023 and halt all coal burn by 2028.
- The environmental group today filed a notice of intent (NOI) to sue Talen but the move is procedural as the two parties have already reached a settlement on all the issues. Brunner Island has three units totaling 1,400 MW. All three began operations in the1960s, with the earliest in 1961.
- The Brunner Island Steam Electric Station is the subject of another environmental settlement as well: Last month the Sierra Club and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reached an agreement regarding water permits at 10 plants, including Brunner.
Sierra Club could still proceed with its lawsuit, but there is already a deal in place to limit coal use at Brunner Island, which has dual-fuel capabilities.
The agreement does allow for use of coal during the ozone season before the end of 2028, but the parties say that will be subject to limits on annual carbon dioxide and ozone season NOx emissions. Exceptions will also be made in case of emergencies, as determined by grid operator PJM Interconnection.
SIerra Club's NOI will launch a mandatory waiting period before the the conservation group Sierra Club can actually file the lawsuit which it will do in mid-May. The settlement will be filed alongside the group's lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Last month, New York and Connecticut filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, claiming the federal government has been "ignoring [a] Clean Air Act requirement to curb smog pollution from upwind states," which includes Pennsylvania.
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