George Neal Station North
- 1 Retirement plans
- 2 Plant Data
- 3 Emissions Data
- 4 Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from George Neal North
- 5 George Neal North ranked 51st on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste
- 6 Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination
- 7 Other coal waste sites
- 8 Articles and Resources
According to a January 2013 agreement between MidAmerican Energy and the Sierra Club, boiler one and boiler two (147 MW and 349 MW respectively) will be retired by April 16, 2016.
- Owner: MidAmerican Energy Company
- Parent Company: Berkshire Hathaway
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,046 MW
- Units and In-Service Dates: 147 MW (1964), 349 MW (1972), 550 MW (1975)
- Location: 1151 260th St., Sergeant Bluff, IA 51054
- GPS Coordinates: 42.326658, -96.379203
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source:
- Number of Employees:
- CO2 Emissions: 7,043,476 tons (2006), 6,740,283.49 tons (2008)
- SO2 Emissions: 21,539 tons (2006), 20,571.10 tons (2008)
- SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- NOx Emissions: 11,121 tons (2006), 8,911.85 tons (2008)
- Mercury Emissions: 260 lb. (2005)
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from George Neal North
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. 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.
Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from George Neal North
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||18||$7,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed April 2011
George Neal North ranked 51st 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. The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.
George Neal Station North ranked number 51 on the list, with 612,005 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination
In August 2010, a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice, "In Harm's Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and their Environment," reported that Iowa had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash.The report identified 39 coal combustion waste (CCW) disposal sites in 21 states that have contaminated groundwater or surface water with toxic metals and other pollutants, including George Neal Station North, based on monitoring data and other information available in state agency files. The report built on an earlier 2010 report by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, "Out of Control: Mounting Damages from Coal Ash Waste Sites", which documented similar damage at another 31 coal combustion waste dumpsites in 14 states. When added to the 67 damage cases that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has already acknowledged, the total number of sites polluted by coal ash or coal scrubber sludge comes to at least 137 in 34 states.
"In Harm's Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and their Environment" found that the coal ash site for the George Neal Station North had exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic at all six wells since 2011, at levels 22 times the MCL. In 2010, MCL for arsenic was exceeded in 15 wells. High levels of iron, manganese and sulfate were also in groundwater downgradient from the monofill.
Other coal waste sites
To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here. To see a listing of coal waste sites in a particular state, click on the map:
Articles and Resources
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Environmental Integrity Project, "Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants", July 2007.
- Facility Registry System, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed Jan. 2009.
- "Consent Decree between Sierra Club and MidAmerican Energy Company, US District Court, Southern District of Iowa, Case No. 13-CV-21," page 6
- Iowa Operating Permit Application, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
- Iowa Operating Permit Application, Form 5.0, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
- "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
- "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
- Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
- TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
- "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.
- Jeff Stant, "In Harm's Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and their Environment," EarthJustice, Environmental Integrity Project, and Sierra Club report, August 26, 2010.
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- Iowa and coal
- MidAmerican Energy
- Berkshire Hathaway
- United States and coal
- Global warming
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