[On Dec 16, 2010] Judge Ronit Walker ruled that Georgia EPD failed to set safe limits on pollutants from a dirty coal plant, proposed Plant Washington. As the press release issued by Fall-line Alliance for a Clean Environment, GreenLaw, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Sierra Club's Georgia Chapter, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Southern Environmental Law Center notes:
"According to today's ruling, the state permit for the Plant Washington violated Clean Air Act safeguards to limit harmful air pollution.....Plant Washington is a project of Power4Georgians, a company organized by Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) and four other EMCs."
This is what groups around the state working for smart energy have to say:
"This is a huge victory for the residents of Washington County and surrounding areas who have long been concerned that limits set by EPD were not adequate to protect public health," said Katherine Helms Cummings, director of the Fall-line Alliance for a Clean Environment. "We appreciate Judge Walker's careful consideration of the evidence and testimony and her adherence to what the law requires."
"This ruling is an early Christmas present for our families," said Chandra Brown, executive director, Ogeechee Riverkeeper. "We are thrilled that the judge ruled in favor of protecting the people who would be forced to breathe the hazardous air pollution from this proposed dirty coal plant. Now, if only the state environmental regulators would quit wasting taxpayers' money by defending permits that allow illegal levels of pollution, we will be celebrating happy New Year and progress for Georgia's communities."
"This decision further highlights that the push for this plant by Cobb EMC, which already charges members some of the highest energy rates in the state, is a looming financial pitfall," said Colleen Kiernan Director of the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club. "Co-ops can meet their energy needs with cost-effective energy efficiency and we look forward to working with them on bringing this inexpensive energy to members."
"The draft air permit for Plant Washington failed to uphold protection for the citizens and environment of Georgia from toxic air pollution," stated Ulla Reeves, regional program director for SACE. "We are pleased that the court ruled favorably to control toxic air pollution and we hope that Power4Georgians takes another big hint from this decision that coal is the wrong energy answer for our state."
Georgians for Smart Energy Coalition