Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine was a critical voice in yesterday’s federal court decision ordering TVA to install $1 billion in emissions controls to reduce air pollution from its coal-fired power plants. Blue Ridge Outdoors’ Editor-in-Chief Will Harlan testified against TVA during the trial, describing the negative health effects of air pollution on outdoor enthusiasts. Specifically, he recounted an incident in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is plagued by pollution from nearby TVA coal-fired power plants, in which he suffered a pollution-induced respiratory attack while running along the Appalachian Trail. Expert testimony showed how the respiratory attack was induced by unhealthy levels of ozone in the park on that day. TVA did not challenge Harlan’s testimony.
Yesterday’s federal court ruling requires TVA to clean up the four power plants closest to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it opens the door for more legal action regarding interstate air pollution.