June 14, 2005, GEC filed its initial brief in the 11th Circuit Court of
Appeals case against the U.S. EPA. Since the Hercules, Inc. Title V
operating permit (under the Clean Air Act) was issued in November June 2002,
GEC has argued to the state EPD, to the U.S. EPA and now to the 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals, that the permit was invalid because it did not include
emission limitations for all applicable air quality requirements.
Specifically, the Georgia rules states that no polluter shall emit air
pollution at levels that, alone or in combination with other sources or
other air contaminants, threatens human health. With Georgia Pacific
setting just a few miles away, and more than 7 public schools between it and
Hercules, GEC believes the emission levels of the two plants threatens human
health. The U.S. EPA accepted and relied on the Georgia EPD's and Hercules'
position that the rule actually isn't an "emission limitation," but only a
"general goal." GEC argues that even though no numeric limitation is set in
the rule, it remains an "emission limitation" and an enforceable permit
limit must be placed in the permit to comply with the rule limitation. The
U.S. EPA and intervenors EPD and Hercules are expected to file their briefs
on July 19th, with GEC's reply to those due July 29th. GEC has requested
oral arguments in the case."