CHICAGOCiting the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as one of the nations biggest air polluters, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has joined six other state attorneys general in urging President George W. Bush to order the TVA to install full pollution controls at its 11 coal-fired power plants.
Because of procedural technicalities, those plants were able to escape an order by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to comply with the pollution control requirements of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). According to the attorneys general, the technicality only can be reversed by presidential action.
TVAs illegal pollution from its coal-fired power plants is seriously harming the health and environment of Americans both in the Southeast and, because it is transported with prevailing winds from the South, the Northeast and Midwest, Madigan wrote with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch and Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell. In 2003, for example, TVA plants emitted 583,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, 235,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, 4,645 pounds of mercury, and 103 million tons of carbon dioxide, the letter continued.
The attorney general noted that sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides cause acid rain, haze, smog and respiratory disease; mercury is a poison, and carbon dioxide causes global warming.
In 2003, Madigan sued the Bush administration twice for its rollbacks of critical clean air regulations to protect public health and the environment.