Utility company AEP to pay billions in acid-rain settlement
The utility company American Electric Power has agreed to pay some $4.6 billion to reduce acid-rain-causing emissions from some of its power plants in the U.S. Northeast, as well as $60 million to clean up specific waterways and parks, and $15 million in civil penalties, all to settle a long-running lawsuit brought by the U.S. EPA, nine states, and over a dozen environmental groups in 1999. While an AEP spokesperson says that much of the $4.6 billion has already been budgeted for or spent on emissions-reduction projects, some $1.6 billion of the total is slated to be spent on pollution-control equipment for two AEP coal plants, one in Indiana and one in Virginia, but not for another 10 years or so. The lawsuit alleged that the company did not install required pollution-control equipment when it significantly upgraded a number of its power plants, as dictated by the new-source review provisions of the Clean Air Act. As part of the settlement, AEP did not admit wrongdoing.