Bloomberg News

N.J. to Appeal Ruling on Pennsylvania Power Plant Pollution

November 07, 2011

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced today the state will appeal a judge’s ruling tossing a case over pollution from a coal-fired Pennsylvania power plant operated by an Edison International subsidiary.

In February, New Jersey joined a complaint brought by New York, Pennsylvania and the U.S. against the plant’s former owners and EME Homer City Generation LP, Edison’s unit and the main operator, claiming the plant is spewing tons of pollutants in the air which travel to downwind states.

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry in Pittsburgh dismissed the claims on Oct. 12, stating that the current owners weren’t involved and can’t be held liable and that the state of limitations on civil penalties had expired.

Christie called the ruling disappointing.

“New Jersey is adversely impacted by air pollution that comes from this coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania that is one of the most polluting power facilities in the nation, and which negatively impacts the health and welfare of our residents,” Christie said in an e-mailed statement.

The Christie administration has taken several steps to reduce air pollution including targeting out of state power plants. The Homer City station, located 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, is a 1,884-megawatt power plant that emits more than 100,000 tons of sulfur dioxide annually, according to the statement. Fine particles from the emissions are carried downwind to New Jersey and other states where they can cause respiratory distress, cardiovascular disease and other health problems, according to the statement.

The case is U.S. v. EME Homer City Generation LP, 11-19, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).

--Editors: Mary Romano, Peter Blumberg

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at spearson3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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