Fed appeals court revives Pa. plant pollution suit

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit against a western Pennsylvania power plant, ruling that two women who live nearby can sue over alleged fly ash pollution even though the plant — now owned by NRG Energy Inc. — meets state and federal air pollution standards.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh in October ruled in favor of attorneys for the Cheswick Generating Station, agreeing with them that the lawsuit was a way to toughen air pollution standards without going through Congress or regulatory agencies.

But a three-judge 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals panel says today that air pollution regulations are meant to impose minimum standards and that nothing in federal law precludes state government or citizens who sue from seeking more stringent standards.

Attorneys for both sides have yet to comment on the ruling.

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