Columbus power company to pay $4 billion clean-up

WASHINGTON (AP) - Columbus-based American Electric Power will pay $4.6 billion dollars to reduce pollution that has eaten away at Northeast mountain ranges and national landmarks.

This settles a years-long federal lawsuit. The settlement requires AEP to reduce acid rain causing chemical emissions by at least 69 percent over the next decade.

Environmentalists blame acid rain caused by coal-fired power plants for damage that has eaten away at the Statue of Liberty and the Adirondacks mountain range in upstate New York.

AEP spokesman Pat Hemlepp confirmed the company agreed to settle but said it planned to spend only $1.6 billion in improvements. He speculated that the higher figure includes money that AEP has already committed to cleanup efforts.

Posted by LS

Associated Press contributed to this report.