A coal-fired power plant in Western Kentucky will stop burning coal entirely in the next five years. The Owensboro Municipal Utility’s board made the decision last week to retire the second unit of the Elmer Smith power plant in Owensboro, marking the end of the utility’s 116 years of burning coal in the city.
A state legislative committee has approved a controversial proposal to change the way Kentucky regulates coal ash. The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee passed the proposal at its meeting Monday, after delaying a decision from last month.
As Kentucky regulators and utilities are pushing to loosen regulations on the state’s coal ash ponds and landfills, more pollution problems are emerging at one of the sites in central Kentucky. Erica Peterson of Louisville Public Media reports.
Kentucky regulators have approved a coal ash landfill for a power plant in Trimble County, advancing a project that’s been on hold for several years as regulators worked around concerns about the area’s geology and proximity to neighbors.
Congress is enacting a little-used provision this week to turn back Obama-era regulations on coal mining near streams. The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would block the Stream Protection Rule, and the Senate is expected to do the same Wednesday evening or Thursday.
Residents of Kentucky’s coal counties are holding out hope that next year will bring the passage of the RECLAIM Act — legislation meant to free a billion dollars from the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to help spur economic development in communities hurting from the downturn in the coal industry.