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Charlotte Area News

NC Attorney General: Air Pollution Fight Will Continue Regardless of TVA Lawsuit Outcome

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says his legal fight to reduce air pollution in surrounding states will continue even if he loses a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority. That trial ended last month. A ruling isn't expected until at least September. But a recent ruling in another case has Cooper confident he may now prevail in efforts to force 13 states to reduce air pollution. He's tried before. In 2005, the EPA denied Cooper's petition to force those states to reduce pollution at their coal-fired power plants. The EPA ruled the agency had developed its own regulation, called the Clean Air Interstate Rule, to address the problem. But a federal appeals court recently struck down that regulation. That prompted Cooper to revive his case. He filed petition last week, and addressed the issue today on Charlotte Talks. "We believe now with the court striking down these federal CAIR rules, essentially in their opinion they opened the door. We've asked for a speedy resolution of this and for the court to begin hearing this. We're going to proceed with that regardless of what happens with the TVA case." Cooper says North Carolina is paying a price for air pollution originating in other states. He says it's causing significant health and environmental problems, and affecting tourism in the Smoky Mountains.