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Mitchell 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.

Mitchell Power Station is a 370 MW power station in Courtney, Pennsylvania which is owned and operated by FirstEnergy. The company retired the plant in October 2013.

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Plant details

The power station comprises two operating units: a 288 megawatt coal-fired unit and a 82MW oil-fired unit.[1]

Retirement

In July 2013 FirstEnergy announced that it planned to decommission the plant in October 2013 rather than meet the costs of complying with the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).[2] The company confirmed the retirement plans in October 2013.[3]

Coal waste

Waste from the Mitchell Power Station and GenOn Energy's Elrama Power Plant is sent to an unlined coal waste dump in La Belle, PA. In December 2010, it was reported that nearby residents said they have seen large loads of fly ash arriving in open barges with nothing covering the coal waste. The disposal site is owned by Matt Canestrale Contracting Inc.[4]

Downwind from the dump site sits Sauerkraut Hill, where residents say there are nine cases of cancer in the 18 houses. The Luzerne Township has elevated mortality levels for diseases that have been linked to pollution exposure, according to a 2010 Post-Gazette ecological study on mortality rates. Luzerne had 170 heart-disease deaths from 2000 through 2008 -- 26 percent higher than the national average, which would project 135 deaths. The Mon Valley is near several coal plants -- including the Mitchell Power Station, Elrama Power Plant and Hatfields Ferry Power Station.[4]

A sample of fly ash that was taken from the La Belle dump site showed the presence of arsenic and several heavy metals, most significantly lead. These represent levels in the actual ash, not amounts found in the air or on neighboring properties.[4]

In response, local resident Gary Kuklish circulated petitions signed by 93 La Belle-area residents that he sent to the state Department of Environmental Protection to seek an investigation and force the owner to clean up the process. DEP officials investigated and ordered the company to dampen roads to reduce coal dust.[4]

In March 2013, attorneys from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Public Justice announced intent to sue Matt Canestrale Contracting, Inc.(MCC), for improper coal ash disposal.

Plant Data

  • Owner/Parent Company: FirstEnergy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 370 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 2: 82MW oil fired (1949), Unit 3: 288 MW coal-fired (1963). (Unit 1 was commissioned in 1948 and decommissioned in 2003).[1]
  • Location: 2907 East Royfurman Hwy., Masontown, PA 15461
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.853889, -79.927778
  • Coal Consumption:430,000 tons of coal a year for Unit 2.[1]
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:75.[1]

Articles and Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 FirstEnergy, "Mitchell Power Station", FirstEnergy website, July 2013.
  2. "FirstEnergy to Deactivate Two Coal-Fired Power Plants in Pennsylvania", Media Release, July 9, 2013.
  3. Scott Beveridge, "Hatfield, Mitchell power plants to close as scheduled," Observer-reporter.com, October 3, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 David Templeton and Don Hopey, "Large loads in La Belle" Pittsburgh Post-Gazaette, Dec. 16, 2010.

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