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Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 10:28am

Plant Scherer 'Dirtiest' In Nation

A new report calls Georgia Power's Plant Scherer the "dirtiest" power plant in the nation.

The report from two environmental think tanks doesn't look at overall pollutants, but focuses exclusively on carbon emissions -- gases that scientists say cause global warming, but are different from things like particulates with direct impacts on human health.

"Georgia is the eighth largest emitter of carbon pollution and home to the single largest carbon polluter in the country," said Environment Georgia policy advocate Jennette Gayer at a press conference Thursday south of the plant in Macon.

"If you want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can't afford to ignore power plants' overwhelming contribution to global warming," she said.

There's a simple reason that Scherer is the nation's biggest carbon emitter, said Georgia Power spokesperson Mark Williams. "It's one of the largest coal-fired electric generating plants in the U.S., and in 2012 it was the top generator of electricity among fossil fuel power plants," he said.

Plant Scherer has been implicated in other types of pollution though, mostly from chemicals in its giant coal ash pond. On Wednesday, lawyers filed a second wave of lawsuits from more than a hundred people living nearby who say their health has been affected.