Louisville neighbors sue over coal plant ash

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: December 17, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A group of Louisville residents who say coal ash from a nearby power plant drifts into their lungs and homes have sued the utility company.

The neighbors are seeking class-action status against LG&E and its Allentown, Pa.-based parent company, PPL Corp., alleging violations of federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act.

The residents around the Cane Run Generating Station in western Louisville have complained for years about coal ash blowing from the plant's massive pile of dust.

"Just as individuals cannot dump their household garbage on their neighbors' lawns, electric companies cannot allow their coal dust and coal ash to be blown onto their neighbors' homes and properties," the plaintiffs said in the suit filed Monday.

The neighbors are asking a judge to award them damages to cover cleanup of the ash on residential properties and for the loss of use of their property. They are also seeking civil penalties against the utility for environmental law violations and want the site to be capped and controlled to prevent ash releases.

LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan said the company does not comment on pending litigation. She said in an emailed statement that the company "takes its environmental responsibility seriously," and it has spent more than $1.5 million in dust-mitigation efforts at Cane Run. They include adding cover soil and seeding the pile, using watering trucks and applying dust suppressant and installing dust-filtering systems.

LG&E is planning to stop burning coal at Cane Rune in 2015 and build a natural gas-fired generating station at the site.

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