- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Court of Appeals has upheld a Franklin County judge’s ruling requiring state officials to rework a water permit for a Trimble County power plant that discharges into the Ohio River.

The court voted 2-1 on Friday to uphold Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd’s 2013 ruling that the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet failed to conduct the correct analysis for wastewater at the plant, The Courier-Journal reports (https://cjky.it/1AM5QuM).

Environmentalists had challenged the Trimble County Generating Station’s permit, saying it did not properly control toxic pollutants like arsenic and mercury going into the river. The power plant is owned by LG&E; in Louisville.

“We’re pleased,” said Judy Petersen, executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance. “The whole idea behind discharge permits is that they should control all the discharges we know are in the waste stream. This decision upholds that.”

An LG&E; spokeswoman declined to comment.

Energy and Environment Cabinet General Counsel Mike Haines said the agency is reviewing its options and could file an appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

In her majority opinion, Judge Janet Stumbo wrote that the permit writer had put too much weight on a 1996 permit writer’s manual, which ignored Clean Water Act requirements for businesses to use proper technology to stop the discharge of pollutants into U.S. waters.

Judge Irv Maze wrote in his dissenting opinion that the blame should be placed instead upon the Environmental Protection Agency, which he said has installed regulations that have not kept up with technology.

The case against the state and LG&E; was brought by the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, the Sierra Club, Valley Watch and Save the Valley.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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