Trimble County Generating Station

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Trimble County Generating Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by E.ON near Bedford, Kentucky. In 2011, Trimble County Generating Station 2 began operating, adding 750 MW (nameplate) or 731.9 MW (net summer capacity).

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Background on Unit 2

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]

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]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Louisville Gas and Electric Company
  • Parent Company: E.ON
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 566 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 566 MW (1990); 750 MW (2011)
  • Location: 487 Corn Creek Rd., Bedford, KY 40006
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.584722, -85.411944 (exact)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 4,107,397 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 830 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 3,981 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 203 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Trimble County Generating Station

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.[6] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), 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. 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.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Trimble County Generating Station. 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.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Trimble County Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 5 $38,000,000
Heart attacks 8 $880,000
Asthma attacks 86 $4,000
Hospital admissions 4 $88,000
Chronic bronchitis 3 $1,400,000
Asthma ER visits 5 $2,000

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

Trimble County ranked 49th 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.[8] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[9]

Trimble County Generating Station ranked number 49 on the list, with 637,434 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[8]

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  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.)
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  9. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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