- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gulf Power Company has reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by three environmental groups over pollutants leaking into the Apalachicola River.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance and Apalachicola Riverkeeper sued the Pensacola-based company in Tallahassee federal court last year. They said Gulf Power was illegally leaking arsenic, lead and other pollutants from a coal-fired power plant near Sneads.

The Jackson County plant closed in April.

According to a settlement reached Wednesday, Gulf Power agreed to dry out and remove coal ash near the river. A company spokesman tells The Tallahassee Democrat (http://on.tdo.com/1eJBlMg ) that the settlement allows Gulf Power to permanently close ash ponds as part of the plant’s retirement.

Gulf Power said the plant had been in compliance since groundwater monitoring began in the 1980s.

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Information from: Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, http://www.tdo.com

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