San Miguel Electric Cooperative

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The San Miguel Electric Cooperative is a coal-fired power station near Christina, Texas which is owned and operated by San Miguel Electric Cooperative Inc.

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Plant Data

EPA Emissions Data

  • 2002 CO2 Emissions: 3,589,409 tons [1]
  • 2002 SO2 Emissions: 13,173 tons [2]
  • 2002 NOx Emissions: 7,120 tons [3]
  • 2006 Mercury Emissions: 287 pounds [4]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from San Miguel Electric Cooperative

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.[5] 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.[6]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from San Miguel Electric Cooperative

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 5 $40,000,000
Heart attacks 8 $880,000
Asthma attacks 110 $6,000
Hospital admissions 4 $92,000
Chronic bronchitis 4 $1,600,000
Asthma ER visits 6 $2,000

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

Toxic Waste Data [7]

  • Chromium Waste: 28,472.1 pounds
    • Air Release: 13.1 pounds
    • Land Release (Land Treatment/Surface Impoundment): 28,459 pounds
  • Dioxin Waste: 5.35 grams
    • Air Release: 5.35 grams
  • Lead Waste: 52,259.2 pounds
    • Air Release: 1,452.2 pounds
    • Land Release (Land Treatment/Surface Impoundment): 50,807 pounds
  • Mercury Waste: 1,341 pounds
    • Land Release (Land Treatment/Surface Impoundment): 1,054 pounds
  • Nickel Waste: 19,409.1 pounds
    • Air Release: 9.1 pounds
    • Land Release (Land Treatment/Surface Impoundment): 19,380 pounds
  • Selenium Waste: 20,787.1 pounds
    • Air Release: 10.1 pounds
    • Land Release (Land Treatment/Surface Impoundment): 20,777 pounds

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Carbon Monitoring for Action: San Miguel Electric Co. Data. Center for Global Democracy.
  2. Criteria Air Pollutants: San Miguel Electric Co Data. Environmental Protection Agency.
  3. Criteria Air Pollutants: San Miguel Electric Co Data. Environmental Protection Agency.
  4. Environmental Protection Agency. Toxic Release Inventory: San Miguel Electric Co Data. Right to Know Network.
  5. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  6. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  7. Environmental Protection Agency. Toxic Release Inventory: San Miguel Electric Co Data. Right to Know Network.

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