PITTSBURGH, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future
(PennFuture), with the support of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP),
today announced that it has filed suit against Allegheny Energy for massive
air pollution violations at its Hatfield's Ferry plant in Greene County,
Pennsylvania. This suit comes as the United States Congress is considering
the so-called "Clear Skies" legislation, which will weaken the federal Clean
Air Act and risk citizens' health. Today's citizen lawsuit was filed because
the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have not yet stopped the
pollution violations at the Hatfield's Ferry plant.
"My own government has failed to protect me," said Charlotte O'Rourke,
local resident and plaintiff in the PennFuture case. "We have soot covering
our houses and cars, decks and porches, lawns and flowers. I never open my
windows - even last summer when my air conditioning broke. And I don't let my
grandchildren play outside. I'm sad that I've had to sue, but something has
to be done right away."
"This plant's records show that it pollutes the air with soot six out of
every seven days," said Charles McPhedran, Senior Attorney for PennFuture.
"No one should have to live under these circumstances. PennFuture intends to
enforce the law against this soot-belching power plant."
"It's bad enough that the government agencies aren't stopping the
pollution, but if the majority in Congress has its way, even these laws will
be gutted," said EIP Director Eric Schaeffer. "At a time when we are learning
that soot and fine particle pollution are not just dangerous, but deadly, it
is a tragedy that our elected officials are considering putting more families
at risk with their so-called 'Clear Skies' plan."
The Hatfield's Ferry pollution violates both federal and state law,
persistently exceeding the limits for opacity (visible air contaminants) and
particulate matter. Local residents have long complained of the effect of
these pollutants on their homes and property, and recently have expressed
concerns about their health. A copy of the complaint detailing the problems
and the laws involved is posted on the PennFuture website,
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that
advances policies to protect and improve the state's environment and economy.
PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and
in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative
action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens
in public advocacy.
The Environmental Integrity Project
(http://www.environmentalintegrity.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
organization dedicated to stronger enforcement of existing federal and state
anti-pollution laws, and to the prevention of political interference with
those laws. EIP's research and reports shed light on how enforcement and
rulemaking affect public health. EIP also works closely with communities
seeking enforcement of environmental laws.