Under federal law, there are limits as to how much water and air pollution companies can produce, and failure to meet those standards can result in penalties. The Clean Air Act, for instance, limits the amount of toxic coal dust pollution coal-operated power plants can emit.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a ruling against Georgia Power Company for violating this provision of the federal law.
The violation was not completely the company’s fault, though, since the Georgia Environmental Protection Division issued air quality permits to a handful of plants which allowed the company to emit more soot pollution than allowed under federal environmental law.
Coal pollution can have pretty wide ranging affects, and it is important that companies responsible for coal dust pollution be held accountable for their violation of federal law. This obviously requires, though, that the agencies responsible for enforcing these laws do their job correctly. Fortunately, Georgia Power is now required to reduce their cost coal dust emissions and come up with a plan to meet federal standards.
Sources say that the Sierra Club and GreenLaw were responsible for bringing the change about. These organizations, of course, are well known for their work on the environmental front. While some criticize these organizations for their work, there is no doubt they are doing their best to be advocates for the environment.
Individuals who are harmed by companies who fail to abide by federal and state environmental law should contact an experienced environmental law attorney to determine their options for recovery.
Source: Enewspf.com, “Georgia Power Must Clean Up Dangerous Coal Dust at Five Power Plants,” April 24, 2014.