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Kentucky Power Company Agrees To Spend $650 Million To Cut Pollutants

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - East Kentucky Power Cooperative has agreed to spend $650 million on equipment to reduce emissions and pay a $750,000 fine to settle a lawsuit over pollution, federal officials announced Monday.

The Winchester-based power company would install high-tech anti-pollution equipment at three plants in eastern Kentucky under the proposed agreement, according to a joint statement from the Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency. The company would pay the fine to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at the plants, the statement said.

"The emissions reductions from this settlement are substantial, and we are pleased that East Kentucky has agreed to bring its facilities into compliance with important provisions of the Clean Air Act," Ronald J. Tenpas, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in the statement.

The federal government filed a lawsuit against East Kentucky Power in 2004, alleging the company made illegal modifications that led to increased pollution at two of its coal-fired power plants. The company allegedly did not have the proper permits for making the plant changes and did not install the pollution control equipment.

A company spokesman did not have an immediate comment.

The proposed settlement was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. There will be a 30-day public comment period and the agreement needs court approval before taking effect.

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On the Net: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent-Decrees.html.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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