The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court against the owners of the Big Brown power plant near Fairfield, Texas, claiming that the company’s data show that the coal-fired power plant released illegal amounts of particulate matter pollution numerous times since July 2007. Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 12-108 (W.D. Tex. filed 5/1/12).

Filed under the citizen-suit provision of the Clean Water Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7604, the lawsuit alleges that the plant violated the opacity limit in the Texas state implementation plan (SI P) and the emissions limit in its operating permit. The complaint alleges that between July 2007 and December 2010, the plant violated the opacity limit more than 6,000 times and surpassed state and federal limits for total suspended particulate matter emitted during a two-hour timeframe on at least 370 occasions. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, an order forcing the owner to install pollution controls and civil penalties in excess of $40 million.