Holland BPW, Sierra Club reach $450K polution settlement

11:36 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Holland Board of Public Works has agreed to a $450,000 settlement to deal with pollution claims at the city's coal-power plant.

In a lawsuit filed in 2008, the Sierra Club alleged that emissions from the James DeYoung Power Plant violated the Clean Air Act. The BPW also agreed to gradually end coal burning at the plant by 2024, but did not admit to any wrongdoing in the case.

Tiffany Harthung, a Sierra Club representative says ending production will be a step-by-step process, starting with the largest coal burning units. "Those will cease burning coal in 2016 and then the two smaller units will begin phasing out of burning coal and ultimately end burning coal in 2024."

"We continue to believe there was no wrongdoing there, this really purely is an issue of saying, given at this point where we're headed, there really isn't the value in going through protracted litigation," saids David Koster, general manager of the Holland Board of Public Works.

The settlement was approved by the city council and BPW board last month. Now, the federal government has 45 days to review the agreement before it becomes final.

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