North Carolina Lawsuit Against TVA Aims To Protect Southeast From Dangerous Pollutants

November 15, 2004
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(15 November 2004 - Raleigh, NC)  Environmental Defense today commended North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper for filing suit against the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation's largest public power company, for violating pollution control requirements mandated by the federal Clean Air Act.  Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants created by TVA's coal-fired power plants blow into North Carolina, threatening the environment and exacerbating heart and lung disease, asthma and other illnesses.    

"North Carolina and other Southeastern states should salute Attorney General Cooper for suing TVA, which sends huge quantities of unhealthy air pollution across the region," said Michael Shore, senior air policy analyst with Environmental Defense.  "TVA has said that it wants to reduce pollution.  But citizens can't depend on promises to produce results.  Attorney General Cooper's action can turn TVA's words into a legally binding commitment to protect our children and grandparents from dirty air." 

"This action is good news for the people of North Carolina, good news for the people of Tennessee, and good news for everyone who breathes in the Southeast," said Shore.  "TVA should take a page from North Carolina's playbook on improving air quality.  The state cleaned up its polluting power plants with the Clean Smokestacks law, but to fully clean its air, North Carolina must get sources in upwind states to do the same.  So far, TVA has made only voluntary commitments to reduce pollution, and it's time to make those commitments legally binding."