Environmental Protection

NIPSCO Settles Alleged CAA Violations for More than $600M

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. will install pollution control technology on all of its coal-fired plants, pay a penalty, and fund mitigation projects in Indiana.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) has agreed to invest approximately $600 million in pollution control technology to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act, according to the Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The proposed settlement covers all of NIPSCO’s coal-fired power plants, which are located in Chesterton, Michigan City, Wheatfield, and Gary, Ind. NIPSCO will spend $9.5 million on environmental mitigation projects and pay a civil penalty of $3.5 million. The state of Indiana has been involved with developing this settlement and is a signatory.

“This settlement will bring substantial reductions in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide emissions that will benefit the health and environment of residents across Indiana and the surrounding area,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

The proposed settlement was lodged Jan. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

Under the proposed settlement, NIPSCO will install pollution control technology at three of its four coal-fired power plants to comply with stringent emission rates and annual tonnage limitations. These actions will result in annual reductions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 18,000 tons and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 46,000 tons. The proposed settlement also will lower particulate matter emissions. NIPSCO will permanently retire its fourth facility, the Dean H. Mitchell facility in Gary, Ind., which has been out of operation since 2002 and its permanent retirement will ensure that the facility does not restart without proper permitting under the Clean Air Act.

“The residents of northwest Indiana who are all too familiar with air pollution issues will benefit from this reasonable agreement that will improve air quality and fund local environmental projects, including restoration near the Indiana Dunes, a unique area of remarkable ecological diversity,” said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, whose office represented the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in the settlement negotiations.

NIPSCO will spend $9.5 million on projects that will benefit the environment and human health in communities located near its facilities. The projects also include a clean diesel retrofit project for public vehicles and a woodstove and outdoor boiler change-out project.

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