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Georgia Power delays coal plant conversion until EPA change

ALBANY -- Georgia Power has announced that it will temporarily delay the conversion of the coal-burning Plant Mitchell to biomass until the Environmental Protection Agency makes a rule change regarding boilers, officials say.

Plant Mitchell was initially planned to undergo the conversion from coal to more eco-friendly biomass beginning in April 2011, but that timeline may change when the EPA alters the Maximum Achievable Technology rule concerning boilers in April 2010.

Georgia Power Spokesperson Jeff Wilson said Monday that Georgia Power officials don't know what impact the rule change may have on their plans for conversion or how long it could delay the process.

"The proposed rule release date is in April 2010; at that time we'll revise our timetable," Wilson said.

The project will still continue, Wilson said, although it is unknown at this point whether the June 2012 date for the plant to go online will remain intact.