A coalition of environmental and clean water groups, including the Sierra Club, released a new report Tuesday highlighting the need for strong Environmental Protection Agency standards to limit toxic water pollution from Kentucky coal plants, including west Paducah’s Shawnee Fossil Plant.
A Tennessee Valley Authority coal-fired power plant in Muhlenberg County that is undergoing expensive pollution control upgrades has been named a top polluter. The Environmental Integrity Project says the TVA Paradise Fossil Plant near Drakesboro emitted more than 1,500 pounds of arsenic, almost a ton of lead and about 1,400 pounds of chromium in 2011. The plant was ranked third on the group’s metal emissions list, which was compiled from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
Kentucky Utilities will spend $57 million to install updated pollution control equipment and pay civil penalties under the terms of a proposed consent decree.
The money will go to installing a sulfuric acid mist emission control system at the company’s Ghent power plant, replace a coal-fired boiler and pay $300,000 in fines to the Environmental Protection Agency.
A 2011 settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Valley Authority means 13 Kentucky organizations will receive a total of $11.2 million dollars in grants over five years. The settlement covers allegations that TVA violated the Clean Air Act.
A federal court ruling on power plant emissions has prompted a settlement cutting the cost of Big Rivers Electric’s pollution control plan by $225 million. The Kentucky Public Service Commission announced the settlement Monday. The electric company had proposed spending more than $283 million on pollution control systems for the plants in Hawesville, Centertown and two in Sebree in order to comply with federal rules. But in August, a federal court overruled some emission control regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
A three-judge panel has voted two to one to strike down a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would require some states to reduce pollution that travels across state lines. This puts the EPA in a difficult position.
Environmental groups have filed suit in federal court in an effort to get the Environmental Protection Agency to stiffen rules regulating air pollution. The EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution rule last summer, to crack down on several states—including Kentucky—that both send pollution across state lines and are affected by pollution from other states. That rule has been challenged by several states and industry groups, and is held up in court.