Bauman calls public hearing for Menomonee Valley coal plant

Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman announced he has scheduled a public hearing to assess concerns regarding the We Energies power plant in the Menomonee Valley.
Bauman, chair of the Common Council’s Public Works Committee, says the Milwaukee utility has not delivered on promised changes at the plant.
Bauman said We Energies promised to convert the plant from coal-fired to natural gas-fired.
The Public Works Committee will take up the valley coal power plant file when it meets on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
The alderman said recent reports indicate that the valley coal plant is the oldest (1960s) and most environmentally destructive plant operated by We Energies, lacking modern pollution controls and providing a significant source of soot and smog which are linked to serious health problems like asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes.
He said more than 24,000 people, many of whom are his constituents, live within a mile of the plant and suffer the worst consequences of the plant’s pollution.
According to Alderman Bauman, Milwaukee is consistently given failing grades for its air quality, and Milwaukee and its surrounding counties currently violate health standards for soot and smog.
According to Bauman, the valley coal plant draws 110,800 gallons of water per minute from the Menomonee River, pulverizes fish and other aquatic life in the process, heats the water to high temperatures, and dumps the hot water – complete with pulverized fish – back into the river.
Wisconsin Energy Corp. spokeswoman Cathy Schulze said, “The valley plant is operating in full compliance with all federal and state environmental permits.”
The company is considering plans to convert the fuel source for the plant to natural gas and plans to file paperwork by the end of the year with the Public Service Commission requesting approval to install infrastructure for the possible conversion, she said.

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