AG Schneiderman announces move to sue power plant for polluting NY air
NEW YORK -- Eric Schneiderman wasted little time in announcing his first move as Attorney General since being sworn in: his office said Thursday he is taking action to sue a giant electric power plant in Pennsylvania that had been polluting New York air for years.
The Attorney General claims the Homer City Station in Homer City, Pennsylvania -- about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh -- has been emitting massive amounts of sulfur dixoide pollution (SO2) and contributing fine particulate matter pollution in New York for nearly two decades.
The facility emits about 100,000 tons of SO2 each year -- more than twice as much as all the power plants operating in New York combined.
"[The plantowners'] disregard for New Yorkers is simply unconscionable, and as Attorney General, I am committed to taking the fight to those who endanger the health and environment of New York," AG Schneiderman said in a media release.
According to Schneiderman, the Homer City Station ignored CAA requirements to install pollution controls when the plant underwent several major modifications in the 1990s. Since then, the plant has been emitting even more SO2, said Schneiderman.
The pollutants contained in the plant's emissions are directly linked to increases in asthma attacks, lung diseases, and other health problems, according to the Attorney General's office. They are also a primary contributor to acid rain, which has "severely damaged lakes, forests, and wildlife throughout New York's Adirondack and Catskill regions."
The lawsuit seeks to require the companies to comply fully with the Act, including installing state-of-the-art pollution controls to address the pollution increases.
Attorney General Schneiderman is joining the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to prosecute the case with the federal Environmental Protective Agency.