Big Utility Says It Will Settle 8-Year-Old Pollution Suit
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 — American Electric Power, one of the nation’s largest utilities, is expected to announced that it has reached an agreement to settle a long-running lawsuit over emissions from its coal-fired power plants.So what's the bad news you ask? American Electric Power was ready to settle seven years ago but decided to wait until after the 2000 election. When Bush won they realized it was party time and they could postpone everything for a few more years. They must be betting, over a billion dollars, that the Democrats will be in charge after the 2008 election and the unregulated party will be over. The real bad news is that this just shows how much the Bush administration has set back the environment.
The suit was filed eight years ago by the Environmental Protection Agency, 8 states and 14 environmental organizations.
The company will spend more than $1 billion on improvements to its plants over the next 12 years, will pay a civil penalty of $15 million and will spend another $60 million on environmental mitigation, a spokesman, Pat D. Hemlepp, confirmed Monday night, after The Associated Press carried a report on the settlement. A.E.P. will not admit to any wrongdoing, Mr. Hemlepp said.
The agreement, to be filed on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio, before Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr., would settle a suit brought by the federal government in 1999. That suit, and similar ones filed against other companies, argued that A.E.P. had violated a provision of the Clean Air Act called new source review.