Environmental Groups Suing Gulf Power

Three environmental groups are suing Gulf Power for allegedly dumping pollutants into the Apalachicola River.

The accusations involved the Scholz Power Plant in Sneads. Earthjustice, a non-profit law firm, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in the Tallahassee Federal Court, on-behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance and Apalachicola Riverkeeper Group.

They claim Gulf Power has allowed arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead and selenium. to seep through 40 acres of unlined coal ash pits, into the nearby Apalachicola River.

The Scholz Plant is a coal-fired plant that opened in 1953. Gulf Power plans to close it next year.

Gulf Power officials told the Associated Press that the company has been in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency groundwater monitoring tests that started in the mid-1980's.

They also say there is no difference between the water samples taken both upstream and downstream from the plant.