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Brunswick, Georgia 31521
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GEC Files Notice of Appeal in Air Permit Case


   On January 24, 2005, GEC filed a Notice of Appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in order to appeal the decision of the U.S. EPA not to object to the Title V Operating Permit of Hercules’ Inc.  In its decision, the U.S. EPA relied on the state’s interpretation that the Georgia rule requiring that emission levels be set at a level that considers cumulative impacts from all contaminants and all sources is not an objective air emission standard or limitation—despite the fact that this rule is in the very first section under the Georgia Rules entitled “Emission Standards and Limitations!”  In the alternative, the U.S. EPA relied on the Georgia EPD’s statement that the permit includes a recital that Hercules must meet this standard—despite clear evidence in the record that Georgia EPD stated that it did not consider this an emission standard and refused to consider evidence regarding overall air quality.

   Despite the evidence of poor overall air quality that showed a cancer risk of up to a 1 in 10,000 as a result of the contaminants released by major sources in Brunswick (this was the cumulative impact from one contaminant and not a cumulative impact of all contaminants), in the midst of these proceedings the Georgia EPD was prepared to grant an air pollution permit to yet another major facility in Brunswick—the Douglas Asphalt Plant.  Luckily, the local government effectively killed this project.

   Because the Georgia EPD refuses to attempt any meaningful control of overall air quality in Brunswick, the appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is necessary.  The U.S. EPA will provide the record to the Court within the next 40 days, after which time GEC will have 40 days thereafter to file its initial brief.  The U.S. EPA will then have 30 days to file its response, and GEC will have the last word in a Reply Brief 15 days after that.  Thus, it is expected that all briefs will be filed in this matter by the end of May 2005.  Hopefully, a decision will be made in GEC’s favor by the end of the year.

  -Scott Randolph



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