Thursday, September 3, 2015

Setting the record straight

We are setting the record straight about an article posted Sept. 3 in an online news site citing neighbor concerns with the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant.

We are not “negotiating over health concerns” with the neighbors who live near the Oak Creek power plant. We do not believe coal dust is causing health problems for anyone living in that area.

We recently were made aware of some health concerns raised by neighbors of the Oak Creek Power Plant and are currently looking into the matter. Our discussion with the neighbors’ attorney concerns protocols for testing the homes in question.

As always, residents with any concerns about our facilities can contact us, and we will investigate those concerns.

Prior to this recent issue, the only health concern brought forward to us was from Bill Pringle.

In response to those concerns, we tested the Pringle family home numerous times and did not find any coal dust inside or outside the home. We also tested at locations near the Pringle home and did not find any evidence of coal dust in those areas. In addition, we offered to have a highly regarded, nationally known third-party conduct testing at the Pringle home. Mr. Pringle refused that testing.

As no evidence of coal or coal dust has been found in the Pringle home, we dispute the doctor’s concluding statement about the probability of coal dust affecting Mrs. Pringle’s health.

As for the coal storage expansion plans, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently issued an air permit after taking into consideration the views of the neighborhood. These requirements include video monitoring, reduced opacity limitation, improved wind break and use of crusting agents on the inactive portion of the south coal pile (the pile closest to homes). We also will submit a feasibility analysis for undertaking additional measures that include pre-planning for extreme weather events, use of additional water technologies for dust suppression, and additional shielding, wind curtains or other physical barriers.

Regarding the purchase of homes in the area, there were no health claims about coal dust or fly ash from any of the homes we purchased in the area. We did not approach or solicit any of the homeowners ourselves or through a broker. We only purchased homes that were put on the market by owners themselves. The contract agreement referred to in the article contained standard clauses requiring confidentiality and release of all claims, which are very common when businesses buy property from private homeowners.

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