DALLAS – Today, Luminant finalized an agreement with the Sierra Club under which the Sierra Club will drop multiple pending legal matters against the company. In return, Luminant will not seek payment from Sierra Club of $6.45 million in fees awarded to the company.
A federal judge determined in August of this year that a Sierra Club citizen lawsuit against Luminant was “frivolous, unreasonable” and “groundless” and ordered Sierra Club to pay Luminant $6.45 million in legal fees and costs. This followed a February 2014 trial that resulted in a complete victory for Luminant on Sierra Club’s claims that Luminant violated state and federal laws at its Big Brown Power Plant. The federal court denied all relief Sierra Club requested.
Importantly, the agreement finalized today does not affect in any way the judge’s fee order or his original judgment in favor of Luminant, which will stand as legal precedent.
Luminant is proud of its environmental record, which, among diverse achievements, includes investments of more than $1.6 billion in environmental control projects since 2009. The company has a strong record of exemplary environmental compliance while conscientiously meeting or exceeding its obligations.
“Final resolution of these legal matters on terms that are highly favorable to Luminant serves as a compelling reminder that this is about our dedicated and mission-focused people, who have an unwavering commitment to operating safely and in compliance with state and federal laws,” said Mac McFarland, Luminant’s chief executive officer. “To the extent that these baseless lawsuits and claims called this commitment into question, we are pleased that any doubt has now been clearly erased.”
As a part of the agreement finalized today, the Sierra Club will:
- Drop its appeal of the February judgment and the August fee award in Luminant’s favor in the Big Brown case.
- Dismiss a companion case filed in 2010 that alleges similar claims at Luminant’s Martin Lake Power Plant.
- Withdraw Notices of Intent to Sue issued in 2010, 2011 and 2012 that allege similar claims at Luminant’s Monticello and Sandow 4 power plants.
- Strictly limit the scope under which it will seek court approval to intervene in a pending lawsuit brought against Luminant by the United States Department of Justice, acting on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging so-called “New Source Review” violations.
- Withdraw, and cause its lawyers, the Environmental Integrity Project, to withdraw Freedom of Information Act requests seeking EPA disclosure of certain of Luminant’s confidential business information.
- Withdraw from a petition seeking EPA’s objection to Luminant’s Title V federal air permits at Big Brown, Martin Lake and Monticello power plants and from further participation in a related “timing” lawsuit seeking to compel EPA action on the petition.
- Provide for a general release of, and covenant not to sue or fund lawsuits for, all claims against Luminant and its affiliates based on any conduct occurring through Dec. 31, 2014.
Through this unprecedented and sweeping agreement in Luminant’s favor, Sierra Club will voluntarily end years of litigation and other legal disputes it instigated as part of its campaign against Luminant’s coal plants. The company is pleased it will no longer have to devote time and resources to defending against these baseless claims.
Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. Luminant has more than 15,400 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. The company is a large purchaser of wind-generated electricity. EFH is a Dallas-based energy holding company that has a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries in Texas. Visit luminant.com, energyfutureholdings.com or our corporate blog for additional information.