Federal, Indiana state governments settle with Indianapolis Power and Light over Clean Air Act violations

Published on September 02, 2020 by Chris Galford

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Allegations of violating the Clean Air Act were resolved this week for Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), with an agreement to spend $5 million on a non-emitting generation source, the acquisition and donation of ecologically significant lands, and replanting actions.

The settlement was brokered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. While IPL claims it has reduced emissions from its facilities over the last decade, it has also received several violation notices for its Petersburg, Indiana operations in September 2009, September 2015, and February 2016, respectively.

The company disputes those call-outs, stating that its actions were in full compliance with the Clean Air Act, but that it chose to resolve the claims to avoid uncertainties associated with litigation.

“We are pleased to have worked with federal and state officials to conclude longstanding discussions with an agreement that recognizes our progress in accelerating a safer and greener energy future through pollution control measures and a significant reduction in emissions,” said Lisa Krueger, president of the U.S. strategic business unit for IPL parent company The AES Corporation. “Settling this matter now solidifies environmental contributions we will make in Indiana communities and avoids expensive and lengthy litigation.”

IPL will now institute annual caps on NOx and SO2 emissions and adhere to more stringent emissions limits. The new non-emitting generation source will be placed at Petersburg Generating Station to support auxiliary load requirements and offset some of that facility’s emissions. All lands to be acquired and donated will be in accordance with the 15-year wildlife refuge habitat management plan.

The settlement tacks onto IPL’s existing integrated resource plan, and as of now, the company is requesting proposals for replacement capacity in a likely shift toward renewable generation. Final review and approval by the Court are pending.