Published: Jun 05, 2014 11:28 AM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Environmental groups say Gulf Power Company is allowing pollutants from aging coal ash pits to leak into the Apalachicola River.
    
The nonprofit law firm Earthjustice filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Tallahassee federal court on behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance and Apalachicola Riverkeeper. They say Gulf Power is illegally discharging arsenic, lead and other pollutants from its coal-fired plant near Sneads into the river.
    
A message left Thursday for a Gulf Power spokesman was not immediately returned. The plant is scheduled to close next year.
    
The lawsuit says coal ash pits along the river lack linings to keep pollutants from leaking out, violating the Pensacola-based company's Clean Water Act permit. The groups say Gulf Power knows about the problem but hasn't worked to fix it.

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