PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 

A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

Dramatic Turnaround for WI Power Plant Could Have National Impact

March 12, 2007

It could be "back to the drawing board" for a major coal power plant in southeastern Wisconsin, after a new court ruling. The Oak Creek power plant is under construction between Racine and Milwaukee; the ruling from a Dane County Circuit Court calls for the state Department of Natural Resources to take another look at the plant's water cooling facility. Attorney Katie Nekola with Clean Wisconsin says the cooling system is illegal under recent federal rulings, and the new court decision should put a stop to construction.

"This decision is a great victory for Lake Michigan. It affirms what we've been saying: this cooling water intake structure for this power plant will damage Lake Michigan's ecosystem."

Plant owner We Energy says it will continue construction, and that the cooling system will reduce air pollution from the plant. Critics say the system would heat millions of gallons of Lake Michigan water each day, killing off wildlife in the lake.

Nekola notes this type of cooling system is already illegal in Illinois, and the court ruling could be a precedent for other states.

"This has implications for the whole country. This type of cooling system is the most environmentally damaging kind that you can build."

The company has argued that the water system is safe. Critics say the discharge of heated water into Lake Michigan would do major damage to wildlife.

"A system like this really can't meet the standard for preventing harm to the lakes. I think it'll be shown that this can't be built."

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WI