Racine Co. man warns neighbors about We Energies power plant

A Racine County man says blowing coal dust off piles at the We Energies Oak Creek power plant is making people sick.

We first brought you Bill Pringle’s story in early September.

Thursday night Pringle gathered dozens of people from the Caledonia and Oak Creek area at Crawford Park in Caledonia.

Pringle says one of the goals is to help people realize the power plant may be making them sick.

An environmental group, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, is teaming up with Pringle to spread the message.

Pringle says 35 families signed a petition Thursday night demanding air-particulate monitors be installed near the plant.

Pringle says state officials need to pay attention to what's going on near the Oak Creek plant, singling out Caledonia area representative Tom Weatherston, Governor Scott Walker, and a U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.

"When there's men women and children who are sick and no one's everyone is kind of blowing it off. On the government level we are going to let the government know we're not going to put up with this." Pringle said.

We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey sent the following comments by email Thursday evening. “The Oak Creek Power Plant is one of the cleanest and most efficient coal power plants in the country. The plant operates in compliance with all environmental regulations and permits.  We do not believe our facilities are causing health issues for residents living in the area. We are currently working with the residents’ attorney to establish testing procedures at their properties.”

The email continued with, “Prior to the neighbors’ recent comments about health concerns attributed to the plant, the only health claim brought forward to us was from Mr. Bill Pringle. In response to those concerns, we tested the Pringle family home multiple times and did not find any coal dust inside or outside the home. We also tested at locations near the Pringle home and did not find any evidence of coal dust in those areas. In addition, we offered to have a highly regarded, nationally known third-party conduct testing at the Pringle home. Mr. Pringle refused that testing.”

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