Keystone Generating Station

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Keystone Generating Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Reliant Energy near Shelocta, Pennsylvania.

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Plant Data

  • Owner/Parent Company: Reliant Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,872 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 936 MW (1967), 936 MW (1968)
  • Location: 313 Keystone Dr., Shelocta, PA 15774
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.658333, -79.340278
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 12,271,116 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 164,354 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 12,784 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 1,370 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Keystone

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 Keystone Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 41 $300,00,000
Heart attacks 69 $7,600,000
Asthma attacks 640 $33,000
Hospital admissions 32 $740,000
Chronic bronchitis 25 $11,000,000
Asthma ER visits 30 $11,000

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

Keystone ranked 10th in terms of mercury emissions

A 2010 report by the Environmental Integrity Project using EPA data found that Keystone is the 10th worst mercury polluter in the United States, emitting 1,000 pounds of mercury in 2008, the most recent year for data, up from 846 pounds in 2007, a 18.15 percent increase.[3]

Keystone first in annual toxic emissions

According to a July 2011 NRDC report, "How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States" Keystone released the most toxic air pollutants annually of any plant in the nation - 15.5 million pounds - based on data from the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (2009 data, accessed June 2011).

Articles and Resources


  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
  3. "Dirty Kilowatts: America's Top 50 Power Plant Mercury Polluters" EIP Report, March 2010.

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