Georgia judge finds that coal plant must obtain emissions permit from state EPA
The AP has the bombshell news. A judge has finally used the Supreme Court decision that carbon dioxide is a pollutant:
The construction of a coal-fired power plant in Georgia was halted Monday when a judge ruled that the plant’s builders must first obtain a permit from state regulators that limits the amount of carbon dioxide emissions.
Read Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore’s ruling [PDF]. What did the judge find?
E&E News ($ub. req’d) explains:
Permit filings for the 1,200-megawatt Longleaf Energy Station coal plant, to be built by LS Power Group and Dynegy in Early County, Ga., did not include provisions detailing the plant’s CO2 emissions. Yet EPD permitted it anyway on grounds that while CO2 may be a pollutant, the gas was not subject to regulation under the act.
Moore disagreed, saying the respondents’ position “is untenable.”
“There is no question that CO2 is subject to regulation under the act,” Moore wrote.
The judge also found that Georgia regulators failed to sufficiently consider best available control technology for the plant by allowing developers to forgo consideration of integrated gasification combined cycle technology that would have allowed for CO2 capture.
Kudos to the judge for bringing some climate sanity back into the coal plant permitting process.