Juliette Power Plant Produces Most Carbon Pollution in Nation

6:22 AM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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A power plant that has been running for 31 years in Monroe County has been a big problem for the small town that lives around it.

That's if you ask some of the people who live there.

Now it faces some problems of its own, including a string of lawsuits.

Macon attorney Brian Adams says the lawsuits were filed yesterday on behalf of Monroe County residents and former residents against Plant Scherer in Juliette.

The lawsuits are seeking damage, claiming that the plant knowingly released toxic and cancerous pollution.

The coal-fire power plant is based in Juliette and majority-owned by Georgia Power. 

Also named in the lawsuits is Vulcan Materials, a nearby quarry.

Adams says around 145 people are suffering long-term health damage. 

The constant stream of white smoke peeking through the trees in Juliette is a deadly reminder for some residents who live off Highway 87.

"Ain't a day go by I don't think about it, and that's the truth, especially with what's going on with this plant up here," says Isaac Redding, a resident of 30 years.

His greatest fear is getting cancer. "My brother died from cancer, my mom died from cancer, my brother in law died from cancer."

He blames Plant Scherer for the deaths. 

According to Environment Georgia, that coal-fired power plant emits the most carbon in the nation. 

Redding is not surprised Plant Scherer leaves a huge carbon footprint. That's because he used to work at the plant for two years and he's seen it firsthand.

"You see the coal dust in the air, you blow your nose, it comes out of your nose, you know what i'm saying? It's everywhere," Redding says.

Plant Scherer is just one of the reasons why Georgia is ranked 8th in the country for producing the most carbon pollution from its power plants.

It's a fact Redding has come to accept. "It stays in the back of everybody's head in Juliette, Georgia, that plant and what it's doing to us," he says.

Georgia Power owns part of Scherer. 

The spokesman, Mark Williams, declined comment on the lawsuit but said, "Georgia Power meets all applicable federal and state air emissions regulations and Georgia Power and Plant Scherer comply with all standards for air and water quality."

He also said that studies showed that Plant Juliette does not release harmful levels of pollutants.

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