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We Energies air monitoring station to be put into operation in February.We Energies will have its air monitoring station functioning and reporting data sometime in February, said Brian Manthey, spokesman for We Energies.

Some neighbors living near the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant hand their homes tested and some came back positive for the presence of coal-like particles inside their homes. The presence of coal dust and fly ash is at the center of those neighbors claiming the power plant is making them sick. We Energies has denied the neighbors claims saying that the size of the particles found inside the neighbors’ homes is too large to cause health problems for residents.

Coal, coal dust and fly ash have been known to contribute to a number of diseases including: Heart disease, certain types of cancers, respiratory diseases, and strokes, according to Alan H. Lockwood, who wrote a report titled Coals Assault On Human Health.

But the neighbors demanded that We Energies put in an air monitoring station and plans for the air monitoring station were approved by the Caledonia Village Board in December. Located on 7 Mile Road near the railroad tracks, the air monitoring station will measure particulate matter in the air. The utility is finishing up some testing and tuning of the equipment. Once completed, it is expected to be working next week.

“The plan is begin reporting monthly data starting in February,” Manthey said. “We are still in the process of setting up the website for that as well.”

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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