Judge Bernard Friedman, in a late August decision, said the DTE Energy subsidiary’s project at Monroe Unit 2 was not a “major modification” that would trigger new source review rules under the CAA.

Friedman said the government, in effect, jumped the gun in suing the company. DOJ/EPA claimed the modification caused an increase in emissions. But the judge said it was too early to make such a determination.

DTE spokesman Len Singer said the company was pleased but not surprised. “Judge Friedman’s order supports the position that we have maintained all along—that the company provided the appropriate notices to the state and has complied with all appropriate environmental regulations and requirements,” he said.