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Pennsylvania power plant sued for air pollution

New Jersey has brought a suit against a coal-fired power plant in neighboring Pennsylvania.

The state claims sulfur dioxide and other pollutants from the plant, owned by Reliant Energy Mid-Atlantic Power Holdings, are carried downwind across New Jersey's western boundary.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, alleges that the Portland Generating Station has been modified in ways that increase air pollution. It also alleges that the owners did not obtain proper permits before modifying the Northhampton County plant and that they are violating federal law not using the best pollution control technology available.

A spokeswoman for Reliant did not immediately return a call Tuesday.

New Jersey has tried to address claims of excessive downwind pollution by Reliant before. It filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. environmental agency a year ago for failing to respond to its objection of an operating permit for Reliant. When the Environmental Protection Agency rejected New Jersey's opposition to the license in June, the state appealed; that appeal is pending.