DTE reaches air pollution deal

DETROIT (AP) — DTE Energy will reduce air pollution from five coal-fired power plants in southeast Michigan under a proposed settlement of a 10-year-old lawsuit filed by the federal government, officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the agreement also requires the company to pay a $1.8 million civil penalty and fund a $5.5 million project to replace older school or city buses with newer, cleaner models.

“This settlement will improve air quality in southeast Michigan to help protect people’s health and the environment,” said Kurt Thiede, chief of EPA’s regional office in Chicago.

The agency’s 2010 lawsuit accused DTE of violating the Clean Air Act in the area with emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The pollutants can harm human health and contribute to acid rain, smog and haze.