Wed., September 8, 2010 2:40pm (EDT)

Legal Challenge For Georgia Coal Plant
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

Powder River Basin coal being mined in Wyoming (photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management)
Powder River Basin coal being mined in Wyoming (photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management)
Several environmental groups are gearing up to challenge the building of a new coal-fired power plant in Washington County.

Power4Georgians EMC wants to build the new plant near Sandersville. They say it’s needed to meet rising energy demands. But, environmentalists say it’s going to create too much pollution.

Next week a judge in Atlanta will listen to environmentalists claim that plant developers used flawed models regarding topography, weather, and roads when predicting pollution levels, and that even slight changes in particulate levels could put them under stricter regulation. Attorney Justine Thompson is with the group GreenLaw.

”If you change any of those and correct the errors that we’re saying, each one of them alone would put it over the significant impact level, require more monitoring and in our opinion actually show that there are violations of air quality standards.”

Testimony could last up to three weeks. The judge in the case has also ruled on challenges to water permits for the plant sending them back to the Georgia EPD for further review.