July 9, 2013 / 3:16 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. EPA sues OG&E over work at Oklahoma coal power plants

July 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sued Oklahoma Gas and Electric for failure to follow procedures required by the Clean Air Act while upgrading two coal plants in the state.

The EPA said in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on Monday that OG&E, a unit of OGE Energy Corp, failed to estimate emissions resulting from construction projects between 2003 and 2006 at its facilities.

The Clean Air Act requires regulated facilities to anticipate emissions increases that would result from physical changes, so that, if required, a utility can take steps to prevent them, according to the complaint.

OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said the company believed it had been and still was in compliance with all state and federal requirements.

“We intend to vigorously defend our position, which is that we followed procedures,” he said, “and actual monitored data indicates that emissions did not increase as a result of the work that was done.”

The construction projects were at OG&E’s two coal-fired plants - the 1,510-megawatt Muskogee in Fort Gibson and 1,038-MW Sooner in Red Rock.

OG&E worked on the boilers and replaced turbine blades in the two plants, among other things, the complaint said.

Alford said OG&E had no plans to shut the two coal plants and noted that the EPA was not seeking that remedy.

The EPA wants the court to require OG&E to assess whether its projects were likely to result in a significant emissions increase and submit that assessment to the agency.

Shares of OGE were up 1.5 percent at $35.07 in morning trading.

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