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Cooper Power Station

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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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J.S. Cooper Power Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by East Kentucky Power Cooperative near Burnside, Kentucky.

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Plant Data

East Kentucky Power Cooperative Settlement

On July 2, 2007 the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that East Kentucky Power Cooperative, a coal-fired electric power plant, will spend about $650 million in pollution upgrades and another $750,000 penalty in a civil suit for violations of the New Source Review requirements of the Clean Air Act at its Spurlock Power Station, Cooper Power Station and Dale Power Station.

“Today’s settlement is another example of the Justice Department’s continued commitment to aggressively enforcing the Clean Air Act,” said Ronald J. Tenpas, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The emissions reductions from this settlement are substantial, and we are pleased that East Kentucky finally agreed to resolve this litigation on acceptable terms and bring its facilities into compliance with important provisions of the Clean Air Act.”

The EPA and DOJ in 2004 filed a lawsuit against the utility for "illegally modifying and increasing air pollution at two of its coal-fired power plants."

The settlement states that the utility will install pollution control equipment to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by more than 60,000 tons per year.[2]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,931,758 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Cooper Power Station

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.[3] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), 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. 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.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Cooper Power Station. 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.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Cooper Power Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 35 $260,000
Heart attacks 52 $5,700,000
Asthma attacks 560 $29,000
Hospital admissions 25 $600,000
Chronic bronchitis 21 $9,300,000
Asthma ER visits 32 $12,000

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

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Energy Information Administration Form 923 for 2009
  2. "U.S. Announces Clean Air Act Settlement with Electric Utility," U.S. EPA, July 2, 2007
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

External resources

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