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Friday, December 17, 2010 - 11:38am

Judge Rules Against Coal Plant

A state court judge is putting the brakes on a controversial new coal-fired power plant in Middle Georgia. Administrative Law Judge Ronit Walker has rejected the plant's air quality permits.

Power4Georgians wants to build the 850-megawatt Plant Washington near Sandersville. The judges ruling says the Georgia Environmental Protection Division gave the group a permit that does not set proper limits on hazardous pollutants and emissions.

Environmental groups challenged the air quality permit saying it was obtained using flawed data that helped the utility fall just below environmental limits set for particulate matter. Chandra Brown is with the Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

“We had some concerns that basically that they were trying to come just under a threshold to skirt some regulating.”

Power4Georgians officials say they are disappointed in the ruling and that emissions information was obtained using rigorous analysis by the EPD. The company could appeal the courts decision or begin the permitting process over again.