By Austin Business Journal

The Lower Colorado River Authority denies allegations that a power plant it co-owns with Austin Energy has violated the federal Clean Air Act.

The Central Texas provider was delivered a notice Thursday of three environmental groups' plan to sue, claiming the plant between Austin and Houston committed more than 10,000 violations against the act and that LCRA owes the state $500,000 for its emissions.

LCRA officials released a statement saying the allegations are based on faulty methodology and flawed conclusions.

â¿¿Many of us have dedicated our careers to work at an organization that values environmental stewardship. Our employees live near the plant and raise their families there. When focused on clean air instead of inexact assumptions, reasonable people will see that LCRA has a very good story to tell," LCRA General Manager Tom Mason said in the statement.

The anti-pollution groups â¿¿ Environmental Integrity Project, Environment Texas and the Texas Campaign for the Environmentâ¿¿filed the suit following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to overhaul the state's Flexible Air Permitting rules, under which the LCRA plant and 121 other Texas plants operate. The 10-year permits enforce emissions limits that decline over time.

LCRA said its permit issued in 2002 was hailed by regulators and environmental groups at the time as an innovative means of reducing emissions. The authority and the City of Austin agreed to add $435 million worth in equipment called scrubbers intended to further reduce emissions as part of the permit.

The water and electricity provider supplies power to more than 1.1 million Texans and was established in 1934.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010