Cooper seeks $1 million to continue TVA emissions lawsuit

Chris Rizo Oct. 20, 2008, 1:43am

Roy Cooper (D)

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline)-North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says his office needs $1 million to continue bankrolling a lawsuit to force the Tennessee Valley Authority to cut emission at its power plants.

Cooper, a Democrat, is suing the TVA to limit emissions from its coal-fired power plants in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, which he says emit large amounts of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury, fouling the Heel State's air.

Budget legislation that passed the House but is pending before the state Senate would transfer the money from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to a litigation reserve.

The money would be in addition to the $2.2 million budget request the Department of Justice, which is headed by Cooper, requested for a special litigation fund.

Cooper sued the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2006, claiming Tennessee Valley Authority's coal-fired plants in nearby states were creating a "public nuisance" in North Carolina.

"TVA's pollution is making North Carolinians sick, damaging our economy and harming our environment. It must stop," Cooper said in a January 2006 statement announcing the lawsuit.

The attorney general is asking U.S. District Court Judge Lacy Thornburg to require the TVA to restrict its emissions.

Although it might not be meeting North Carolina's Clean Smokestacks Act, the TVA says it's been complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's clean air requirements.

In addition to funding the TVA lawsuit, the budget request says the litigation fund may also be tapped for a lawsuit in which South Carolina is suing North Carolina over diminished water flow from the Catawba River.

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