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Longleaf Energy Assocs., LLC v. Friends of the Chattahoochee

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20146
Nos. Nos. 09-0387, -0388, (Ga. Ct. App., 07/07/2009)

A Georgia appellate court reversed a lower court decision invalidating a state environmental agency air quality permit allowing an energy company to construct a pulverized coal-fired electric power plant in southern Georgia. The lower court ruled that the permit violated the CAA and the Georgia Air Quality Act because, among other things, it failed to include a limit on the plant's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. But because neither the Georgia Act nor the CAA contain regulations controlling CO2 emissions, the permit was not required to contain a CO2 limitation and the lower court's ruling must be reversed. In addition, the lower court erred in holding that the CAA required consideration of "integrated gasification combined cycle" technology in the best available control technology (BACT) analysis, in rejecting the use of coarse particulate matter modeling to demonstrate that the plant's emissions would not cause or contribute to a violation of the NAAQS for fine particulate matter, and in ruling that the permit's BACT emissions limitations must be set by registered professional engineers.