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Friends of the Chattahooche v. Couch

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20159
Nos. No. 2008 CV 146398, (Ga. Sup. Ct., 06/30/2008)

A Georgia court vacated a state air pollution permit allowing an energy company to construct and operate a 1,200 megawatt coal-fired power plant. Because there was no effort to identify, evaluate, or apply available technologies that would control carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and because the permit contains no CO2 limitations, the permit violates the Clean Air Act's best available control technology (BACT) requirement. The BACT requirement encompasses all pollutants that are subject to regulation under the Act, including CO2, regardless of whether they are independently subject to national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) or other general limits. In addition, the evidence shows that the proposed facility would exceed NAAQS for fine particulate matter. The company also should have done a full analysis on the integrated gasification combined-cycle technology to be used at the plant. The permit was therefore remanded to the state environmental agency for further BACT analysis.