US Justice Department, alleging the company has violated the federal Clean Air Act by increasing sulfur dioxide emissions without obtaining permits or installing pollution controls, has filed a lawsuit against DTE Energy’s EES Coke Battery LLC on 1 June 2022 in federal district court in Detroit in US seeking civil fines and wants a judge to order the company to install emissions controls at its Zug Island facility. The complaint was filed on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency, which, alongside Michigan regulators, is advancing a plan to reduce Detroit area SO2 emissions by limiting air pollutants from facilities on the heavily industrialized Zug Island in River Rouge. According to the filing, EES Coke significantly increased its SO2 emissions after telling regulators in 2014 it would not do that while asking the state to revise its original 1990 permit to remove limits on underfire coke oven gas combustion, which is used to power operations. The increase triggered a stringent emissions review, but the coke oven battery continues to emit SO2 at higher levels without required controls, the filing claims. In 2018, EES Coke emitted more than 3,200 tons of SO2, compared to its permitted baseline of under 2,100 tons per year, the EPA says. In 2021, EES Coke emitted 3,608 tons of SO2. The EPA is seeking fines up to USA 109,000 per day of violation.However, DTE said that it’s committed to protecting the environment and health of people in communities around its facilities and is currently reviewing the lawsuit. DTE spokeswoman Ms Jill Wilmot said “We believe we have complied with all relevant regulations governing the operations conducted at EES Coke, and we remain committed to responsibly operating the plant while it continues to serve crucial industrial and civic functions through the production of coke to fuel the steel industry and the provision of over 170 jobs.”EES Coke uses coal to produce metallurgical coke, which is used in making steel. The company is one of the Michigan state’s largest sources of sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas which can exacerbate particulate matter pollution and which can make breathing difficult for people with asthma.