SANDERSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The controversy surrounding a proposed coal-fired plant in Sandersville fired back up on Wednesday, as developers announced another delay ahead of new pollution regulations.
Plant Washington has been a topic of tension in Washington County since 2008. After years of debate and millions of dollars in investment, it doesn't look like the fuel dispute will end anytime soon. On Wednesday, Dean Alford with POWER4Georgians announced he's filing an 18-month extension as developers wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to release new carbon pollution standards. The EPA is expected to make the announcement on Friday. It would apply to all new power plants which have not yet started construction by a set date.
"We filed for our permits in January 2008," said Dean Alford, POWER4Georgians spokesperson, "we've had a lot of legal challenges that we've had to overcome and also recognizing that a lot of new EPA standards have come out."
Supporters of the $2.1 billion plant argue that the investment will fuel the economy. According to Alford, the will bring in about 1,600 jobs in construction alone. However, people like Katherine Cummings, who are in firm opposition, believe the 850 megawatt coal-fired plant will be detrimental to the environment.
"I think Americans in general are beginning to realize that natural resources are not infinite," Cummings said.
The group must begin construction on the plant before November 30, 2013, or they are at risk of losing their permit all together.