The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Justice Department reached a Clean Air Act settlement with Northern Indiana Public Service Co. that will cover all of NIPSCO’s coal-fired power plants. NIPSCO has agreed to invest approximately $600 million in pollution control technology to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act.

The settlement will require NIPSCO to spend $9.5 million on environmental mitigation projects and pay a civil penalty of $3.5 million. The state of Indiana was involved in developing the settlement and is a signatory.

EPA said the settlement will bring substantial reductions in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and carbon dioxide emissions. Under the settlement, NIPSCO will achieve compliance with the Clean Air Act and reduce emissions from its entire coal-fired power plant system.

NIPSCO agreed to install pollution control technology at three of its four coal-fired power plants to comply with  emission rates and annual tonnage limitations. These actions will result in annual reductions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions by 18,000 tons and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 46,000 tons in addition to  reductions of particulate matter emissions. The settlement also requires NIPSCO to permanently retire its fourth facility, the Dean H. Mitchell facility in Gary, Ind. The facility has been out of operation since 2002.

The settlement also calls for NIPSCO to spend $9.5 million on projects that will benefit the environment and human health in communities located near the NIPSCO facilities. The projects include a clean diesel retrofit project for public vehicles, woodstove and outdoor boiler change-out projects and land restoration projects to restore lands adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The settlement was lodged Jan. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

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