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Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 1:52pm

Coal Plant Emissions Get Hearing

Tonight state officials will hold a public hearing in Early County on an emissions permit for a proposed coal fired power plant there. The state wants to allow fewer hazardous air pollutants, but environmental groups say that is impossible.

LS Power already has a construction and operating permit for the plant, but the company still needs to be allowed to emit pollutants like Carbon dioxide and other hazardous materials. Earlier this year the company proposed changing its air permit for hazardous materials from major to a minor source Eric Cornwell with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division says the company proved that it’s doable.

“They provided evidence showing that they could meet those so that’s why we have the proposed permit now,” he says.

Because of the change a new public hearing is scheduled for tonight.. Justine Thompson with the Southern Environmental Law Center will be there. The group is fighting the plant in court. Thompson says giving minor pollution status benefits LS Power.

“The problem here is that if you say you are a minor source you cap the amount of pollution that you emit," she say. "But there’s also less requirement in terms of monitoring and enforcement.”

It’s not clear whether LS power will operate the plant or sell if once it is built. The electricity generated is expected to be sold to customers mostly outside of Georgia.

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