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Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 10:15am

Judge To Decide On Coal Plant Permit

A judge will decide within a month whether an air permit for a proposed coal plant in Middle Georgia meets Federal Clean Air Act requirements.

Environmentalists claim the state permit would let Plant Washington emit more air pollution than federal law allows.

John Suttles is a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center. He says Power4Georgians who is building the plant could make it a lot cleaner.

"Our experts testify that the plant could be anywhere between 5 times to 25 times cleaner for sulphuric acid mist," says Suttles.

Dean Alford with Power4Georgians disputes that. "It’s one thing to talk about things in a theoretical sense and very important to recognize what’s in the real world," says Alford. "When you look at where things are in the real world, I think we can demonstrate basically without any doubt that this plant meets the best available control technology."

Administrative Law Judge Ronit Walke says she should be able to make her decision by the December 20th deadline.

Last summer, she sent the plant’s water permits back to the Environmental Protection Division for revision after environmentalists appealed them.

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