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Sharif Durhams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal: Authorities: No injuries in “bluff failure” at We Energies plant

Authorities: No injuries in “bluff failure” at We Energies plant
by Sharif Durhams, October 31, 2011

chers—

i include this story to call attention to the embedded argument in the peculiar phraseology the power plant owners employed: the bluff failed. We Energies didn’t do anything to damage it and has no responsibility for this random, unpredictable and mysterious act of god. evidently the site’s resident lawyer was unhurt in the “freak accident.”

—rk

Authorities believe there isn’t anyone trapped in the cargo trailers that fell to the beach Monday morning in a bluff collapse at the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant.

Lt. j.g. Brian Dykens, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said the contractor that is working at the site said all of its personnel have been accounted for.

“We can be fortunate that there’s nobody injured in this,” Dykens said. “This is definitely a freak accident.”

Dykens said the Coast Guard was called to the scene at 11:18 a.m. The Oak Creek Fire Department also has crews at the plant.

Images on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) show at least three trailers used to hold construction equipment that appear to have fallen near the water. A front-end loader also fell during the collapse, Dykens said.

The failure is near a new air quality control system for the plant that’s under construction, the company posted on its Twitter account.

The collapse is contained to the We Energies property, a company spokesman said.

Dykens said the Coast Guard will remain on the scene to monitor whether the collapse polluted Lake Michigan.

The air quality control system project under construction at Oak Creek is the second most expensive construction project ever undertaken by We Energies, with a price tag of $900 million.

The air controls would serve the original Oak Creek coal plant, which has four boilers that opened from 1959 to 1967. The original coal plant is just south of the new two-plant coal plant that opened earlier this year, at a cost of more than $2.3 billion.

During an investor conference call last week, company Chairman and Chief Executive Gale Klappa said the project was about 90% complete and was “on time and on budget,” with the new controls expected to undergo testing before completion in 2012.

The project aim is adding scrubbers and other pollution control equipment to reduce the emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

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