After years of coal industry decline, Kentucky has fallen from the nation’s third largest coal producer to the fifth. Federal data released last month shows the 42 million tons of coal the commonwealth produced in 2016 was eclipsed by Pennsylvania and Illinois. Wyoming and West Virginia have long been above Kentucky in coal production.
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.