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DTE's Monroe power plant is labelled a leading polluter nationally

Ken Lund

DTE Energy's coal-fired power plant in Monroe has been named one of the nation's "super polluters" in a report by the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan, non-profit investigative news organization.

The report said the Monroe plant ranks 11th in the country for the most greenhouse gases emitted into the air and 140th for the most toxic air releases. That's out of 20 thousand power plants, factories and other industrial sites reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the report, one third of the greenhouse gas emissions and one third of the toxic air releases come from just 100 sites.

DTE official Barry Marietta said there are no plans to close the Monroe plant which, he said, is one of the largest  in the country and produces 25% of the power needed in Southeastern Michigan.

"We are committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable power that will become cleaner as we diversify this portfolio," said Marietta. "But coal fire power plant for the forseeable future needs to be part of that mix."

Marietta said DTE does plan to close three other power plants within the next seven years. They are River Rouge, Trenton Channel, and St. Clair power plants. Consumers Energy shut down seven of its older coal-burning units this year.

"We've installed $2 billion in emission control equipment at Monroe," said Marietta, adding that DTE is operating the Monroe plant in compliance with all federal and state emission and discharge regulations.