Sierra Club, the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization, has asked Miner, Barnhill & Galland to represent its interests in two important Clean Air Act lawsuits in the St. Louis area. The lawsuits were brought against Union Electric Company (doing business as Ameren Missouri), which operates several coal-fired power plants in Missouri.
In the first case, MBG filed suit on behalf of Sierra Club against Ameren to require its compliance with the “opacity” limits imposed by the Clean Air Act on three of its power plants (Labadie, Meramec and Rush Island). Opacity is a general indicator of the amount of particulate matter emitted from a pollution source. A settlement was reached before trial.
The second case was originally brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2011 on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA alleged that Ameren committed various violations of the Clean Air Act when it undertook major modifications at its Rush Island plant without obtaining the requisite permits or installing best-available control technology to address sulfur dioxide pollution. After U.S. District Court Judge Rodney Sippel ruled that Ameren had violated the Clean Air Act and entered a liability finding, Sierra Club (represented by MBG) intervened in the case in order to ensure that Sierra Club’s interests were protected during the “remedy” stage of the case.