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Gallagher Generating 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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R. Gallagher Generating Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Duke Energy near New Albany, Indiana.

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Duke proposes to close two units at plant

Under a plan submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission On May 24, 2011, Duke Energy said it plans to shut down two coal-burning units at its Gallagher Generating Station and purchase a share of the Cayuga Generating Station in Indiana to make up the difference. The plan is being considered as a potential settlement option in a more than a decade-old lawsuit the company has with the EPA. Duke had been exploring the idea of converting two of the Gallagher burners to natural gas via running a gas pipeline from Kentucky. But the gas pipeline would cost $71 million, while Duke would pay $68 million for its share of the Vermillion Plant, owned by both Duke Ohio — an unregulated subsidiary of Duke Energy — and Wabash Valley Power Association. Duke Energy would own 62.5 percent of that plant and Wabash would own the remainder.

The lawsuit that initiated the filing relates to air quality: the EPA alleges Cinergy — which merged with Duke Energy in 2006 — undertook six power-plant upgrades that added new coal burners in Indiana and Ohio without obtaining new permits as required by New Source Review provisions. Both the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will have to approve either option before Duke moves ahead.[1]

Plant Data

  • Owner: PSI Energy Inc.
  • Parent Company: Duke Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 600 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 150 MW (1958), 150 MW (1959), 150 MW (1960), 150 MW (1961)
  • Location: 30 Jackson St., New Albany, IN 47150
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.261417, -85.842222
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,613,751 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 50,819 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 4,239 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 188 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Gallagher

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.[2] 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.[3]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Gallagher Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 70 $510,000,000
Heart attacks 110 $12,000,000
Asthma attacks 1,100 $59,000
Hospital admissions 50 $1,200,000
Chronic bronchitis 42 $19,000,000
Asthma ER visits 68 $25,000

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


Gallagher and Environmental Justice

Resident and Nurse Rhoda Temple Morton's father worked at the plant and died of cancer

The Gallagher Station is located in the town of New Albany, across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. The majority of the African American population living within a 3 mile radius of the power plant are in an income bracket which is substantially lower than the rest of the community, raising issues around environmental justice and coal. Gallagher is among over 100 coal plants near residential areas.[4]

2011 Report: Gallagher top environmental justice offender

The 2011 report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People in Illinois" by Adrian Wilson, NAACP, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), and the Indigenous Environmental Network used an algorithm combining levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions together with demographic factors in order to calculate an environmental justice score for the 431 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Twelve plants were ranked the top environmental justice offenders, producing a total of 48,582 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in 2005 — only 1.2% of total U.S. electricity production, yet affecting a total of 1.78 million Americans who live within 3 miles of one of the 12 plants, with an average per capita income of $14,626 (compared with the U.S. average of $21,587), and 76.3% people of color.

The plants were:

  1. Crawford Generating Station, Chicago, IL (Edison International)
  2. Hudson Generating Station, Jersey City, NJ (PSEG)
  3. Fisk Generating Station, Chicago, IL (Edison International)
  4. Valley Power Plant, Milwaukee, WI (Wisconsin Energy)
  5. State Line Plant, Hammond, IN (Dominion)
  6. Lake Shore Plant, Cleveland, OH (FirstEnergy)
  7. Gallagher Generating Station, New Albany, IN (Duke Energy)
  8. Bridgeport Harbor Station, Bridgeport, CT (PSEG)
  9. River Rouge Power Plant, River Rouge, MI (DTE Energy)
  10. Cherokee Station, Commerce City, CO (Xcel Energy)
  11. Four Corners Steam Plant, Niinahnízaad, NM (Arizona Public Service Company)
  12. Waukegan Generating Station, Waukegan, IL (Edison International)

Clean Air Act Violations

Resident James Hickerson

On December 22, 2009, the EPA announced the agency had reached a settlement with Duke Energy for New Source Review (NSR) violations of the Clean Air Act at Duke’s Gallagher plant. A jury had found Duke liable for NSR violations at the plant, and the settlement obviated the need for a remedy trial, which had been scheduled for early 2010.

The settlement requires Duke Energy to repower Units 1 and 3 at Gallagher with natural gas or shut them down, and to install scrubbers at Units 2 and 4, reducing sulfur dioxide emissions 86 percent when compared to 2008 emissions. Duke will also pay a $1.75 million penalty and spend $6.25 million on various environmental mitigation projects.[5]

Coal Waste Sites

Gallagher ranked 91st on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[6] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[7]

Gallagher Generating Station ranked number 91 on the list, with 260,183 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[6]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Daniel Suddeath, "Duke plans to shut 2 coal-burning units, buy share in 3rd" Clarion, May 30, 2011.
  2. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  3. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  4. Jacqui Patterson, "Day IV Clearing the Air Road Tour — New Albany, IN — R Gallagher Generating Station" NAACP Climate Justice Initiative, April 21, 2010.
  5. "Duke Energy to Spend $93 Million to Resolve Clean Air Act Violations" EPA Press Release, December 22, 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  7. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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