By Eva Fedderly
WASHINGTON (CN)- The Sierra Club claims in a federal lawsuit that the Environmental Protection Agency is flagrantly ignoring objections it filed to the permitting of two coal-fired power plants in North Carolina.
In a complaint filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, the Sierra Club says federal regulators responded with stony silence to two petitions it filed to object to permits issued to Duke Energy.
The environmentalists contend two new plants Duke Energy operates in Asheville and Roxboro, North Carolina “are causing dangerous sulfur dioxide pollution in surrounding communities.”
The group claims EPA administrator Gina McCarthy violated the Clean Air Act by failing to act on its petitions within the statutorily-mandated sixty days of filing. The first of the group’s petitions was filed on June 17; the second was filed on June 23.
The Sierra Club says that EPA’s failure to respond to its petition has “injured and continues to injure the health, recreational, environmental, organizational, and procedural interests of Sierra Club and its members.”
It seeks declaratory relief, an order compelling the EPA to immediately act in some fashion on its petitions, and an award of the costs of litigation. The Sierra Club is represented by Bridget Lee.
A spokesperson for the EPA told Courthouse News the agency has “No comment at this time.”