Plant Bowen emitted more carbon dioxide and more sulfur dioxide than any other plant in the country in 2002, according a U.S. Public Interest Research Group report compiled from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data. Carbon dioxide is thought to be a major cause of global warming, and sulfur dioxide contains fine particle pollution that several studies have linked to strokes and heart attacks. (Another Georgia Power plant, Scherer, just outside Macon, placed second out of all power plants in the nation for carbon dioxide emissions.)
Bowen is located just south of Cartersville, and is very much a part of Atlanta's air shed.
But because Bowen's nitrogen oxide emissions are down 10.5 percent since 1999, Bowen dropped to 14th in the country for that category. Nitrogen oxide is a key component of ozone smog.