On June 30, 2008, the Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia revoked a permit for construction of a proposed 1200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the state. The court truled that the permit issued to Longleaf Energy by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division failed to consider the best available pollution control technology (BACT) for reducing the proposed plant’s estimated annual emissions of 8-9 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). The defense had argued that a BACT analysis was not required because CO2 is not a pollutant subject to regulation under the federal Clean Air Act. The court found that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Court found that CO2 met the definition of pollutant under the Act. The ruling by the Georgia court appears to be the first time a court has rejected an air emissions permit as a result of the environmental agency to regulate CO2 emissions.
The defendants reportedly will appeal the court’s decision.