Georgia Judge Blocks New Coal Power Plant Because of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Coal Train

photo by Colin Nederkoorn

Yesterday marked a first in US judicial history: The first time that a state court has applied the principles of the April 2007 decision of the US Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency to a proposed power plant project.

Without emissions reduction plan in place, Plant will not be approved
The court in question is the Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia and the application in question is for the planned Longleaf 1200 MW coal-fired power plant outside of Columbus. This plant was the first coal-fired plant to be proposed in Georgia for over 20 years. The project had been granted approval by an administrative court, but this was overturned by Judge Thelma Wyatt on the grounds that the plant had no plan in place to limit its CO2 emissions.The project permit challenge was brought before the court by the Sierra Club and Friend of the Chattahoochee. Justine Thompson, executive director of the law firm representing these groups said that,

This ruling goes a long way towards protecting the rights of Georgians to breathe clean air and sends a message to [the Georgia Environmental Protection Division] that it must tighten the standards it uses to approve air pollution permits for companies seeking to build any more coal-fired plants in the state.

Bruce Nilles of the Sierra Club continued in praise of the ruling:

Coal-fired power plants emit more than 30 percent of our nation's global warming pollution. Thanks to this decision, coal plants across the country will be forced to live up to their clean coal rhetoric.

via :: ENS
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