OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Late yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma ruled against Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company’s (OG&E) efforts to stop Sierra Club’s Clean Air Act lawsuit for breaking the law numerous times by pumping out harmful soot pollution beyond what is allowed by state and federal law. A second suit focusing on the New Source Review portion of the Clean Air Act was dismissed due to a technicality.
Whitney Pearson, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal organizer in Oklahoma, issued the following statement in response:
“On behalf of the Sierra Club’s thousands of members and supporters in Oklahoma, I am pleased that the court is allowing our suit against OG&E’s numerous illegal soot violations to move forward. This means that Oklahomans who live downwind from the plant and are at risk from soot pollution right now will have their day in court.
OG&E has broken the law numerous times over the last five years by allowing its coal-fired power plants to pump out far more soot pollution than is allowed by the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, it has taken a court case to call OG&E’s attention to their legacy of harmful air pollution threatening the health of Oklahoma residents.
We are nonetheless disappointed that the court dismissed the Sierra Club’s second claim under the New Source Review provision of the Clean Air Act due to a technicality, but we look forward to the opportunity to protect Oklahomans suffering from asthma, heart disease and other serious illness from illegal soot pollution. OG&E still has time to do the right thing, moving beyond coal and investing in home-grown clean energy solutions, like wind and solar, that can power Oklahoma’s homes and businesses.”