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$4.6 Billion Coal Plant Pollution Settlement to Bring Clearer Skies to TN

October 10, 2007

Nashville, TN – The U.S. Justice Department has announced the largest environmental settlement ever, and it means cleaner air for Tennessee and states across the Northeast. A company that owns coal-burning power plants in Kentucky, West Virginia, and three other states in the region must spend billions of dollars to install air pollution control equipment as part of a record-breaking settlement with the Justice Department over Clean Air Act violations. David Willett is with the Sierra Club, one of the groups that had joined several states, and the federal government, in the lawsuit.

"Power plants had been trying to get away with not complying with the Clean Air Act for years. The signal has been sent that it's time for them to clean up their act."

Willett says the settlement covers some of the most-polluting power plants in the country, and sets a precedent that should encourage other facilities to install the latest technology to reduce pollution.

"The fact that those plants are going to have to get significantly cleaner is good news for anyone who breathes."

More than $4 billion will be spent on equipment, and the company that owns the plants will pay a $15 million fine, as well as $60 million to repair environmental damage caused by acid rain, soot, and smog. The company, American Electric Power, says it did nothing wrong, but wants to work on addressing pollution concerns.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - TN