The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan

The Justice Department and US Environmental Protection Agency have announced that the US government has filed a complaint against Westar Energy alleging that the company violated the Clean Air Act by making major modifications to the Jeffrey Energy Center, a coal-fired power plant in St Marys, Kansas, without installing and operating modern pollution control equipment.

The complaint alleges that for more than a decade, the Jeffrey Energy Center has operated without the best available emissions-control technology required by the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act to control emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, contributing to formation of fine particulate matter, smog and acid rain.

The lawsuit, filed by the Justice Department on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asks the court to order Westar Energy to install and operate appropriate air pollution control technology in order to substantially reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions from the Jeffrey Energy Center.

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties up to the maximum amount authorized, as well as actions by the energy provider to mitigate the adverse effects alleged to have been caused by the violations.