E.C. mayor asking cities to support lawsuit against InterGen

December 17, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

City councils throughout the Imperial Valley will be asked to support a lawsuit against the company building one of the power plants under construction in Mexicali because of the expected amount of air pollution.

El Centro Mayor Larry Grogan called for a meeting Friday and asked other mayors to hear a presentation on the potential air pollution, then return to their cities and seek support for the legal action and other actions.

Grogan said the amount of air pollutants expected from the 750-megawatt power plant owned by Boston-based InterGen Aztec Energy is "phenomenal."

The issue of opposing the power plant has been before the county Board of Supervisors, which took no action.

"It appears there has not been a concerted effort to do something about this problem by the county," Grogan said.

The presentation about the potential quantities of air pollutants expected from the InterGen plant was made by county Air Pollution Control Officer Stephen Birdsall, who is expected to make a similar presentation before each city council.


Grogan said each council will then be asked to support the lawsuit in principle, and with money if possible.

Brawley Mayor Wayne Johnson said no decision can be made until after Birdsall's presentation.

"We discussed that but didn't take any action," he said. "I agree something needs to be done about the air."

Johnson said InterGen's plant should be required to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, "or else we're all going to be breathing dirty air."

To draw more attention to the issue, Grogan said there is thought of engaging in civil disobedience at the offices of Bechtel Corp. in San Francisco.

"We talked about methods of protest," Grogan said.

Grogan said the civil disobedience would bring needed state and federal attention to the issue.

InterGen is a Shell Oil Co.-Bechtel venture, according to its Internet site,

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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