The detailed files from the fight to stop Longleaf Energy Station, a proposed dirty coal plant in Early County, GA.
November 2, 2011: Environmental organizations filed an appeal in Fulton County Superior Court identifying errors in the approval of an air quality permit for the plant. Although the Longleaf plant is the largest new source of air pollution Georgia has allowed for decades, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) classified it as a “minor source” of hazardous air pollutants, a decision that was later upheld by a state administrative law judge. The legal challenge was filed by Sierra Club and Friends of the Chattahoochee represented by the environmental public interest firm, GreenLaw.
August 1 2011: EPD issued a final permit for Longleaf following the remand that occurred in April. You can find the narrative for the permit here, and the final permit here. Because the ALJ maintained jurisdiction over the permit during the remand, no appeal is needed for the case to proceed. As such, the permit challenge is back before Judge Howells.
April 2011: Judge Howells ruled in favor of environmentalists finding that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) must reconsider its permit after the court found flaws in provisions designed to make Longleaf a "minor" source of pollution for toxic air pollutants. EPD had previously determined that the plant would be a “major” source of such pollutants. Click here to see the Court's decision.
March 2011: We are waiting for Administrative Law Judge Stephanie Howells to issue her decision on the appeal of the air quality permit EPD issued to LS Power's Longleaf coal-fired power plant. A decision was expected in March, but Judge Howells issued an order that, because of the complexity of the case before her, she will be extending the time for her to render her decision until May 6th.
February 23, 2011: Petitioners filed Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as well as a written Closing Argument with the ALJ.
January 2011: GreenLaw filed a petition on December 8, 2010, challenging EPD's determination that Longleaf is a "minor" source of hazardous air pollutants. Read the press release here and the petition here. A hearing before the Administrative Law Judge has been scheduled for February 8 - 10 at the OSAH office, 230 Peachtree Street, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA, 30303.
November 2010: EPD issued a new permit that can be found here.
June 2010: EPD withdrew the permit amendments that were issued in April and agreed to place the permits back out for public comment. You can see the letter withdrawing the permit amendment, the new permit amendment, the public notice about the hearing and instructions for submitting public comments here. GreenLaw submitted extensive comments on June 30, 2010, detailing the problems with the permit. Click here to view those comments
May 2010: On May 10, 2010, Attorneys from GreenLaw filed two petitions challenging EPD's decision to issue a hazardous air pollution permit to Longleaf, and to allow an extension for the construction of the plant. In the 1200 mega-watt Longleaf permit, EPD classifies Longleaf as a minor source of pollution, while the other proposed coal-fired plant, the 850 mega-watt Plant Washington (in a permit issued the day before), is classified as a major source. Listing Longleaf as a minor source allows the power plant to avoid critical requirements that would ensure that the Plant operated in compliance with the law. EPD also failed to allow the public to comment on this decision. GreenLaw objected on both grounds. EPD also granted Longleaf an extension on when it must begin construction. This extension will allow the Plant to be built with outdated technology. GreenLaw is asking that EPD ensure that the permit is up-to-date.
The Petitions can be found here:
LONGLEAF HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS PETITION
LONGLEAF CONSTRUCTION EXTENSION PETITION
April 2010: The Lonlgeaf Permit for MACT and for a construction exentsion Issued. In a startling move, the state agency issued a permit for Longleaf, such that citizen appeals are due the same day as the many permits issued for Plant Washington. Such timing cannot be accidental and is likely directed to quash citizen review of governmental decisions. See the permit here.
February 2010: On February 12, 2010, GreenLaw submitted a final brief in the original challenge of Longleaf's air quality permit. The Court of Appeals issued a ruling in 2009 that found that the administrative law judge had failed to properly consider the evidence before it and that the judge had not conducted an "independent review." Because of this ruling, the case was remanded back to the administrative law judge for further proceedings. Click here to see the brief that was filed by GreenLaw. On April 2, 2010, the judge ruled in favor of the power company. Click here to see the ALJ's final decision.
Although the original permit was upheld, Georgia's Environmental Protection Division has also released a draft amendment to Longleaf's permit. The amendment purports to address mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. GreenLaw submitted detailed comments on the draft amendment to Longleaf's permit which would limit the amount of hazardous air pollutants that could be emitted. Even with these limitations, the plant will emit 158 pounds of mercury making it one of the top ten emitters in the state. Learn more about the case and the irreversible negative impact that the coal-fired power plant in Early county will have on Georgia's air quality.
August 4, 2009: Comments submitted by GreenLaw on Longleaf's Hazardous Air Pollutants - View PDF
July 27, 2009: Petition for Certiorari filed with the Georgia Supreme Court - View PDF
July 7, 2009: Decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals - View PDF
January 6, 2009: GreenLaw's brief in the Court of Appeals addressing CO2, PM2.5 and IGCC - View PDF
December 5, 2008: GreenLaw's brief in the Court of Appeals addressing standard of review, procedural defects and failure to have a licensed professional engineer review the permit - View PDF
Listing of Amicus Briefs filed in Longleaf - View DOC
June 30, 2008: Fulton County Superior Court Decision. - View PDF
Click here for Summary of the Fulton County Superior Court's Decision.
April 9, 2008: Opening Brief for Petition for Judicial Review in Fulton County Superior Court - View PDF
February 11, 2008: GreenLaw’s Superior Court Appeal - View PDF
January 11, 2008: Adminstrative Law Judge's ruling - View PDF
December 18, 2007: Decision on CO2 and PM2.5 - View PDF
November 20, 2007: GreenLaw's Final Brief in Administrative Proceeding on Dynegy/Longleaf - View PDF
June 13, 2007: Legal challenge to Dynegy/Longleaf coal-fired power plant in Early County - View PDF
November 16, 2006: Public comments on Dynegy (LS Power/Longleaf) coal-fired plant in Early County - View PDF
More information on the Longleaf Plant
- Click here to read more about the Court of Appeals Decision.
- Click here to read more about GreenLaw's Petition for Certiorari filed with the Georgia Supreme Court.
- Click here to learn more about EPD's proposed amendment on Longleaf's hazardous air pollutants.
- Click here to read more about Dynegy decision to cut off financing for the Longleaf Plant.
Georgians for Smart Energy is working to expose the real impact of the coal plant on the citizens of Early County and all of Georgia. View Fact Sheet.
View a report that finds less positive economic impact and greater risk for Longleaf Plant. View Press Release. View Report.