TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gulf Power Company is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it's allowing pollutants from aging coal ash pits to leak into the Apalachicola River.
The nonprofit law firm Earthjustice filed the lawsuit in Tallahassee federal court in June on behalf of three environmental groups who say Gulf Power is illegally discharging arsenic, lead and other pollutants from its coal-fired plant near Sneads into the river.
Gulf Power's attorneys said in court documents filed Friday that "numerous studies confirm that discharges from the facility are not adversely impacting the surface water quality in the river."
The Jackson County plant that opened in 1953 will close next year. Utility officials have said the plant always has been in compliance since Gulf Power began groundwater monitoring in the mid-1980s.
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