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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 9:56am

EPD Modifies Coal Plant Permits

The state has modified permits for two proposed coal plants in Georgia. Both of the projects have been held up with legal challenges.

Environmental groups took the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to court over permits it issued for the coal plants proposed for Washington and Early counties.

The court ordered the EPD to change the permits. Now the water permits for the Washington County plant are open for public comment and a hearing will be held in Sandersville December 7.

However, the Washington plant still faces a separate legal challenge for its air permit. A judge will hear the case next week.

As for the Early County plant, Justine Thompson with Green Law who represents the environmental groups, says changes to the air permit don’t fix their major contention – that the EPD still classifies the 1200 megawatt plant as a minor source of hazardous air pollutants.

"We think it’s indefensible to permit a pollution source that’s this large as a minor source of air pollution," says Thompson. "It defies common sense and we don’t think it will adequately protect the public from hazardous air pollutants."

Thompson says the environmental groups will likely issue an appeal.