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Bay Shore Plant

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

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Bay Shore Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by FirstEnergy near Oregon, Ohio.

On January 26, 2012, FirstEnergy said it is permanently closing Units 2-4 of the plant by September 1, 2012.[1]

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Plant Data

  • Owner: FirstEnergy Generation Corp.
  • Parent Company: FirstEnergy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 499 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 141 MW (1955), 141 MW (1959), 141 MW (1963), 218 MW (1968)
  • Location: 4701 Bayshore Rd., Oregon, OH 43616
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.689842, -83.437491
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Proposed coal plant closures

On August 12, 2010, FirstEnergy announced it will throttle back power production at four of its smaller, coal-burning power plants, beginning in September and continuing for three-years. The company cited the lackluster economy, low demand for power, and pending federal rules tightening emission standards. The plants are the Lake Shore Plant in Cleveland, OH, all but the largest boiler at the Eastlake Power Plant in Lake County, OH, the Ashtabula Plant, and three of four boilers at the Bay Shore Plant near Toledo, OH. The largest Bay Shore unit, which burns petroleum coke from the nearby BP/Husky oil refinery, will continue operating. The four power plants have not been running flat out for some time; instead, the company has kept them in reserve, ramping up production as needed.

Altogether the power plants have a total generating capacity of 1,620 megawatts, they accounted for less than 7 percent of total production in 2009. One megawatt is 1 million watts and enough electricity to power about 800 homes. FirstEnergy said the slowdown will reduce operating costs but could force the company to write off $287 million in the value of its assets, reducing third quarter earnings by 59 cents per share.[2]

On January 26, 2012, FirstEnergy said it is permanently closing six of its coal plants by September 1, 2012: Bay Shore Plant, Units 2-4, in Oregon, Ohio; Eastlake Power Plant in Eastlake, Ohio; Ashtabula Plant in Ashtabula, Ohio; Lake Shore Plant in Cleveland, Ohio; Armstrong Power Station in Adrian, Pennsylvania; and the R. Paul Smith Power Station in Williamsport, Maryland. The plants had served mostly as peaking or intermediate facilities.[3]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 5,393,977 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 15,207 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 7,468 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 87 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Bay Shore Plant

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[4] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[5]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Bay Shore Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 35 $260,000,000
Heart attacks 57 $6,200,000
Asthma attacks 560 $29,000
Hospital admissions 26 $610,000
Chronic bronchitis 21 $9,400,000
Asthma ER visits 31 $12,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Plant Killing Fish

In early June 2010, Ohio environmental groups stated that the Bay Shore Plant along Maumee Bay is killing more fish than any other plant on the Great Lakes, costing Ohio $29.7 million annually. The Ohio Environmental Council, the Western Lake Erie Waterkeepers Association, Ohio Citizen Action and other groups are urging the Ohio EPA to make FirstEnergy, the owner of the plant, install cooling towers at the plant -- which touches the Maumee River on one side and the Maumee Bay on the other -- in order to reduce the fish kills from the thermal pollution from coal plants.[6]

According to the environmental groups, despite the mandate under the federal Clean Water Act that companies employ the best available technology to reduce their environmental impacts, the Ohio EPA issued a permit to FirstEnergy, allowing Bay Shore to "install a solution that Ohio EPA's own consultants have already shown to be less effective," according to NRDC. Ohio EPA's final Clean Water Act water pollution permit for Bayshore allows the facility to install a reverse louvered system that has been effectively outlawed in the states of New York and California. A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging the permit, saying FirstEnergy can install water cooling towers that reduce fish losses by 95 percent.[7]

According to a May 2010 report by Ohio Citizen, "Economic Damages of Impingement and Entrainment of Fish, Fish Eggs, and Fish Larvae at the Bay Shore Power Plant", the damage to the economy because of the Bay Shore coal plant is estimated to be $29.7 million a year, which "did not include estimates of damage from other uses such as hunting or bird-watching, both of which also contribute to the state's economy."[7]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "FirstEnergy, Citing Impact of Environmental Regulations, Will Retire Six Coal-Fired Power Plants" PR Newswire, Jan. 26, 2012.
  2. John Funk, "FirstEnergy Corp. to throttle back four smaller coal-fired power plants" Cleveland.com, August 12, 2010.
  3. "FirstEnergy, Citing Impact of Environmental Regulations, Will Retire Six Coal-Fired Power Plants" PR Newswire, Jan. 26, 2012.
  4. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  5. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  6. " Kristina Smith Horn, Port Clinton News Herald, June 3, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rachel Cernansky, "Lawsuit Pressures Coal Plant to Stop Killing Millions of Fish in Lake Erie" Tree-hugger, Dec. 21, 2010.

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