Bush Administration Will Proceed With Clean Air Suits

Date: January 17, 2002

Source: News Room

The Bush administration will proceed with lawsuits against several U.S. utilities for allegedly violating a Clean Air Act provision that requires new pollution equipment when a plant is expanded or upgraded General John Ashcroft said the Environmental Protection Agency ``has a reasonable basis'' for continuing the lawsuits initiated during the Clinton administration. In November 1999, the Clinton administration sued a dozen U.S. coal-fired utilities for expanding or upgrading plants without installing modern equipment required to control smog, acid rain and soot. It sought to strictly enforce the Clean Air Act's so-called ``new source review'' rules, which exempt power plants and oil refineries built before 1977 from installing modern pollution controls unless major modifications are made to the plants. Some of the companies sued by the Justice Department included FirstEnergy Corp., Duke Energy Corp., Vectren Corp.'s Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Co, Dynegy Inc.'s Illinos Power, Cinergy Corp., American Electric Power Co. and Southern Co.

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