Appeals court upholds ruling on coal-fired power plant

Homer City coal-fired power plant Pennsylvania ruling upheld appeals court EME Homer City Generation LP Pennsylvania Electric Co New York State Electric and Gas EPA

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision from a lower court that regulators waited too long to sanction the coal-fired Homer City Generating Station in Pennsylvania, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

According to the report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against EME Homer City Generation L.P., which has owned the plant since 1999, and Pennsylvania Electric Co. and New York State Electric and Gas Corp., the former owners of the plant, for failing to install required pollution controls when the plant was modified in the 1990s. The three-judge panel ruled regulators should have filed their lawsuit within five years of the last modification rather than waiting until 2011. The panel also ruled regulators cannot claim the current operators are operating with an invalid permit when the same regulators renewed the permit without an objection in 2012.

U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry dismissed the case in October 2011, stating regulators cannot hold EME Homer City Generation responsible for violations from previous owners, and previous owners could not be forced to buy and install pollution controls on a plant they no longer own, according to the Tribune-Review.

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