Judge denies TVA delay in cleanup

A federal judge in Asheville, N.C., has denied the Tennessee Valley Authority's request to delay installing pollution controls in a coal-fired power plant in east Tennessee.

In January, Judge Lacy Thornburg ruled for North Carolina in a lawsuit that charged TVA is a public nuisance because of the pollution blowing from its plants. Thornburg set deadlines for TVA to clean up four plants closest to the N.C. border, at an estimated cost of $1 billion.

After the trial, TVA asked the judge for one- and three-year delays in installing pollution controls at its John Sevier plant near Rogersville, Tenn. The devices will capture sulfur dioxide, which produces acid rain and fine-particle pollution, and ozone-forming nitrogen oxides. North Carolina fought the request, and Thornburg denied it Wednesday. He ruled that TVA has time to make the improvements by the original 2011 deadline.