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Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings Corp

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20205
Nos. 12-CV-108, (W.D. Tex., 08/29/2014) (Smith, J.)

A district court ordered an environmental group to pay $6.4 million in attorney fees in a citizen suit it filed against the owners of a Texas coal-fired power plant for alleged CAA violations. Below, the court dismissed the group's claims that the plant violated the Act's particulate matter (PM) and opacity limits. The owners then filed a motion for attorney fees, requesting $6.7 million in litigation costs associated with the lawsuit. The court ruled that the owners were entitled to an award of attorney fees because the group's claims were "frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless." The owners were successful against all of the group' claims, which were dismissed at the summary judgment stage of litigation. And except for a conditional appellate fee sum of $300,000, the amount of fees and costs requested were reasonable. The court therefore ordered the group to pay a total of $6,446,019.56 in fees and costs.