Tell Gov. Perdue to stop coddling corporate polluters
A ridiculous Cliffside ruling signals Duke Energy’s control
Will Bev Perdue be yet another North Carolina governor who serves major corporate interests at the expense of protecting public health and our environment?
Ask her yourself: firstname.lastname@example.org … and tell her to cancel the Cliffside power plant.
Sending a letter to the editor of your local paper would be even stronger.
Late Friday, state regulators announced their approval of Duke’s “Hail Mary” recalculation claiming the Cliffside coal-fired power unit would be a minor source of toxic pollution. (see article below). This defies a federal court judge, the Clean Air Act and the laugh test.
Gov. Perdue prides herself as an advocate of public health. But according to Duke’s own numbers before they radically revised them to dodge the federal judge, the new Cliffside unit would emit over 20 times more mercury, a potent neurotoxin, than similar plants. The state toxicologist estimates that 13,600 children who have been exposed to unsafe levels of mercury are born in North Carolina each year. And, of course, Cliffside would also emit the greenhouse gas equivalent of 1 million cars.
Duke, along with Progress Energy, have a mutual, long-running business strategy of spending millions each year on elected “leaders” and through targeted philanthropy. (See “Duke’s real Green Money: https://www.ncwarn.org/docs/news%20rel/NR%202-05-09%20Duke’s%20Real%20Green%20Power.pdf )
With the state continuing to act like the giant polluter’s client instead of its regulator, and with the IPCC saying we have only six years to slow global warming pollution, is there any wonder why a broad range of public interest groups see civil disobedience as a necessary matter of conscience to stop Cliffside. See www.StopCliffside.org
The News & Observer
Mar 14, 2009
Duke Energy’s Cliffside unit gets favorable rating
Wade Rawlins, Staff Writer Comment on this story
State air regulators on Friday granted Duke Energy’s request to treat the new 800-megawatt Cliffside 6 power generating unit it is building west of Charlotte as a minor source of pollution.
The designation could allow Duke to sidestep the public process of analyzing and installing the most stringent controls to reduce hazardous pollutants such as mercury. That issue is still before the federal court.
“Under the revised air permit, Duke must ensure that the new Cliffside unit’s controls for removing hazardous air pollutants operate at high efficiency,” said Keith Overcash, director of the state Division of Air Quality. “If limits of this revised permit are exceeded, DAQ will take enforcement action.”
Environmental groups sharply criticized the decision, while Duke Energy framed it as certifying that the new Cliffside Unit 6 will have the most effective air emission controls to protect public health and the environment.
Duke has contended that the controls it’s designing for Cliffside are the best possible, so it shouldn’t need a lengthy technology review.
A coalition of environmental groups sued last year, challenging Duke’s construction of a major pollution source without an analysis of the maximum pollution controls needed. In December, U.S. District Judge Lacy Thornburg sided with the environmental groups and ruled that Duke was “simply refusing to comply with the controlling law.”
Before the court ruling, Duke changed course and told state air regulators that emissions from the new Cliffside plant would be much lower — less than a tenth of what the company earlier projected. The new unit should therefore be reclassified as a minor pollution source, Duke argued, based on tests of new pollution controls at its Marshall plant and redesigned controls at Cliffside. [NOTE from NC WARN: Duke has not proposed any equipment changes; only changes on paper.]
Under the federal Clean Air Act, any new power plant or industrial facility that emits 10 tons per year of a hazardous air pollutant or 25 tons or more of air pollutants collectively is a major pollution source. The law requires that they have the most modern and efficient pollution controls.
Friday’s decision that Cliffside is not a major source may allow Duke lawyers to argue that the court no longer has jurisdiction. …
See the full story: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1442189.html