Georgia environmental regulators have re-issued an air permit for a proposed new 850-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Washington County. It was the final environmental permit needed for the $2 billion Plant Washington project to move ahead.
If built, the plant could become Georgia’s first new coal-fired power plant in more than a quarter century.
The air permit was revised this summer in response to a court order after the original permit was appealed by the environmental law firm Greenlaw.
The new version sets a tighter limit for fine particle pollution, which can cause heart and lung problems when breathed deep into the lungs. It also revised the method for limiting organic hazardous air pollutants. Both changes were modeled on proposed new federal rules, officials with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division have said.
The revisions deal only with portions of the air permit that an administrative law judge ordered EPD to study further.
Justine Thompson, executive director of Greenlaw, said the firm will be reviewing the new permit closely before deciding whether to take further legal action.
Dean Alford, spokesman for POWER4Georgians, said in a news release Monday: “We have committed to building one of the cleanest facilities of its kind in the world and the requirements of this air permit attest to that. Now that these issues have been addressed, we are anxious to move forward.”
Plant Washington is forecast to create 120 to 130 permanent, full-time jobs on site, according to POWER4Georgians, a consortium of electric cooperatives funding the project.
To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.