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Feds orders Ga. to fix dust plans at power plants

Ray Henry, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Federal officials say Georgia regulators must explain how a utility should prevent coal dust from escaping five power plants.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy ruled that Georgia's regulators did not include enough detail in the permits for five coal-fired plants to explain how they would meet rules limiting the spread of coal dust.

Her ruling was published Thursday.

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power has sought to renew an air permit for the Hammond, Kraft, McIntosh, Wansley and Scherer plants. Coal dust spreads before the fossil fuel is burned to make electricity.

An environmental group, GreenLaw, had challenged the permits for several reasons, including that state authorities and Georgia Power did not include enough detail on how they would curtail the spread of coal dust.