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Monday, May 10, 2010 - 2:26pm

Coal Plants Face New Legal Challenges

Environmentalists have launched a slew of new legal arguments against two proposed coal plants.

GreenLaw and the Southern Environmental Law Center are representing several groups in the state who object to Plant Washington in east Georgia and the Long Leaf plant in southwest Georgia.

Three petitions filed with the Department of Natural Resources against Plant Washington argue it would emit too much air pollution, would take too much water from the Oconee River, and return dangerously hot water back into it.

Two petitions against the Long Leaf plant in Early County ay it would emit too much air pollution and would not use the latest anti-pollutant technology.

Altamaha Riverkeeper Executive Director Debra Shepard says the Oconee River already experiences low flows and water quality problems:

"The proposed withdrawls and pollution discharges that will be part of this plant will only increase those problems and create unnecessary stress on an already-stressed river system."

Plant Washington’s owner, Power4Georgians, says GreenLaw appears more interested in trying to delay the plants than finding a solution.

power4Geogians Spokesman Dean Alford: " ... once again their strategy is one of throwing as much as they can against a wall to see what sticks and not moving toward a way to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity.

A hearing will likely be scheduled within 90 days to hear the groups' new arguments.