Trimble County Generating Station 2

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Trimble County Generating Station 2 began operating in January 2011.

Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E), a wholly-owned subsidiary of E.ON US proposed to build a 750 megawatt (MW) supercritical pulverized coal plant at Trimble County Generating Station, which already has a 514 MW coal fired plant (Unit 1) in operation.[1] The new plant (Unit 2) would burn Illinois Basin high sulfur bituminous coal and would be built by Bechtel Power. It received a $125 million tax credit from the federal government’s 2005 EPACT Qualifying Advanced Coal Program. In Sept. 2007, the Sierra Club reported that the Trimble air permit had gone back to the draft stage. [2] In Fall 2008, the Federal EPA supported the legal challenge that Kentucky violated the Clean Air Act in issuing state permits to the Trimble coal plant and now state officials in Kentucky must “correct” the permit to be more restrictive.[3]

In January 2009, the developer resubmitted an air permit application, according to Energy Justice Network.[4]

Air Emissions Permitting

The permit was remanded by U.S. EPA to Kentucky Division for Air Quality for analysis of Best Achievable Control Technologies (BACT) determination during startup and shutdown of equipment and for clarification of the applicability of regulation under Kentucky's Air Toxics regulation 401 KAR 63:020. The permit has been redrafted. The public review period on the permit is closed. The permit should be issued as a proposed shortly.[citation needed]

A March 2009 hearing, at which the U.S. EPA was scheduled to answer the remaining issues raised by environmental groups in their Petition 1 & 2, has been rescheduled for July.[5]

U.S. EPA's formal objection was received by the Commonwealth on June 5, 2009. Pursuant to procedures in 40 CFR 70 and 401 KAR 52:100 and 52:020 a revised permit must available for public comment within 90 days. There is a little confusion on when the clock actually starts, faxed notification versus actual receipt, but it is assumed that the 90 days will start either on the 5th or shortly after that date.

LG&E began construction during a period in which a regulation introduced by the Bush administration (bBr) was still in effect but have since been overturned by the courts. While the permit was issued properly under the bBr, the overturning has created some chaos in regulatory schemes. A case by case MACT(Maximum achieveable Control Technology) determination is written to apply to sources that have not yet began construction, it does not exactly fit when a source is scheduled to begin operation shortly. The permit contains an emission limit for mercury that is one third of the vacated bBr, and controls for mercury include activated carbon.[citation needed]

It is believed that LG&E may take practically enforceable limits on its HAP emission(Hazardous Air Pollutant as defined by 40 CFR 63) to avoid the whole case by case issue, similar in the manner that North Carolina's permit for Cliffside limits HAP emissions.[citation needed] The monitoring required for a MACT avoidance is sufficient to require that portion of the permit to be available for another period of public review. There was also an objection on the wording of the BACT determination during startup and shutdown.[citation needed]

Announcements for permit actions can be found at

Project Details

Sponsor: Louisville Gas and Electric Company (subsidiary of E.ON U.S.)
Location: Trimble County, Kentucky
Nameplate Capacity: 750 MW; net summer capacity 731.9 MW
Type: Supercritical pulverized coal
Status: Operating - January 2011


Citizen Groups



  1. “Tracking New Coal-Fired Power Plants,” National Energy Technology Lab, May 2007, page 14. (Pdf)
  2. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed January 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  3. "Fighting Pollution from Aging Coal Plants" Environmental Law and Policy Center, August 12, 2009
  4. "Trimble County 2" Energy Justice Network, accessed November 2011.
  5. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed May 2009. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)

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