Two of New York's dirtiest power plants will not be able to continue polluting nearby communities, and the Environmental Protection Agency must now reconsider its current approach of permitting many large air pollution sources. A decision in October 2005 will not only clean up the air around these two plants but will have a huge impact on how the agency approves air permits nationwide.
Under Title V of the Clean Air Act, a major stationary source of air pollution must obtain an operating permit that includes provisions to assure its compliance with every applicable requirement of the act. These permit programs are established by the states, but subject to the approval of the EPA. In October 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that EPA violated the law by approving air permits for the Huntley and Dunkirk power plants in upstate New York without requiring a compliance schedule that addressed notices of violation issued by the state.
Earthjustice represented the New York Public Interest Research Group in the lawsuit.