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AG moves to sue major Pa. power plant

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is taking action to sue a major Pennsylvania electric power plant over multiple violations of the federal Clean Air Act at the facility.

He claims the plant, Homer City Station, is the largest out-of-state contributor of sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution to New York. The facility emits approximately 100,000 tons of SO2 annually — more than twice as much of this harmful pollutant as all of the power plants operating in New York combined.

“The owners of this power plant have repeatedly thumbed their noses at clean air laws, while dumping more than double the sulfur dioxide pollution into our air and lungs as all of the power plants operating in New York combined,” Schneiderman said Thursday.

He is joined by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in this action. They charge that the current and former owners of Homer City Station ignored CAA requirements that state-of-the-art pollution controls be installed at the plant when it underwent several major modifications in the 1990s that increased its pollution emissions. The lawsuit seeks to require the companies to comply fully with the Act, including installing state-of-the-art pollution controls to address these pollution increases.

New York and PADEP are jointly prosecuting the case with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which has also filed a lawsuit against the plant for CAA violations. The states have filed a motion to intervene in EPA’s case, which would ensure that the cases are litigated together before the same judge.

The action will be taken in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.