A 2002 N.C. law forced utilities to clean up their emissions that the state says hurt public health. The law also directed the state attorney general to take action against out-of-state utilities, including massive TVA, whose pollutants blow into North Carolina.The case opens today in Ashville; being a case that crosses state lines, it will be decided in federal court and has far reaching consequences for utilities related conflict across the country.
Attorney General Roy Cooper filed suit in 2006, saying TVA wouldn't agree to a firm timetable to reduce emissions. TVA says it has little effect on North Carolina but has spent billions to clean up its plants.
Cooper wants TVA to install pollution controls similar to those North Carolina required of Duke Energy and Progress Energy in 2002. The estimated cost to TVA: $516 million a year.