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Post date: April 2 2001

Statement By Attorney General Spitzer On Federal Court Ruling In Clean Air Case

United States District Court Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. today denied a motion to dismiss my clean air lawsuit against American Electric Power Co.

Judge Sargus's decision underscores the validity of our legal action against AEP and other Mid-Western and Mid-Atlantic power plants whose illegal smokestack pollution continues to cause acid rain devastation and drive up asthma rates across New York.

While AEP is opposing us in court, other power generators - Virginia Electric Power Co. and Cinergy - have recognized the strength of our position and are negotiating pollution-reducing settlements with us. I am confident that more power companies will also soon choose that course.

This decision clears the way for further legal proceedings at which we will show that AEP routinely violated the federal Clean Air Act by failing to install appropriate pollution control devices when it performed major upgrades at its coal-fired power plants.

I am confident that at the end of our litigation, AEP will be required to bring its power plants into compliance with the Clean Air Act, something this company and other Mid-Western and Mid-Atlantic power generators should have been doing all along.