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Pleasant Prairie Power Plant

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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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Pleasant Prairie Power Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Wisconsin Energy near Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Wisconsin Electric Power Company
  • Parent Company: Wisconsin Energy (also known as WE Energies)
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,233 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 617 MW (1980), 617 MW (1985)
  • Location: 8000 95th St., Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
  • GPS Coordinates: 42.5401, -87.90363
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 9,078,102 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 28,566 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 8,729 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 835 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Pleasant Prairie Power Plant

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.[1] 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.[2]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 24 $180,000,000
Heart attacks 38 $4,200,000
Asthma attacks 400 $21,000
Hospital admissions 18 $410,000
Chronic bronchitis 15 $6,500,000
Asthma ER visits 24 $9,000

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

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  2. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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