Wilson Station

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D.B. Wilson Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Big Rivers Electric Corporation near Centertown, Kentucky.

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Pollution controls

To comply with the EPA Transport Rule, Big Rivers had been planning to install scrubbers for sulfur dioxide at its D.B Wilson plant in Centertown, at a cost of about $139 million, and a selective catalytic reduction to curb nitrogen oxides at its Robert D. Green plant in Robards, at a cost of about $81 million. One day after a federal appeals court struck down the rule in August 2012, Big Rivers said it was scrapping the pollution control plans to save its customers about $225 million.[1]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Big Rivers Electric Corporation
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 509 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 509 MW (1984)[2]
  • Location: Highway 85, Centertown, KY 42328
  • GPS Coordinates: 37.452167, -87.081667
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,758,819 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 9,306 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 5,773 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 131 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Wilson 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.[3] 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 Wilson 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.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Wilson Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 22 $160,000
Heart attacks 33 $3,600,000
Asthma attacks 360 $19,000
Hospital admissions 16 $370,000
Chronic bronchitis 13 $5,900,000
Asthma ER visits 22 $8,000

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

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. James Bruggers, "Western Kentucky utility withdraws pollution-control plan after appeals court strikes down EPA limits," The Courier-Journal, August 22, 2012.
  2. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, Generator Data, US EIA, 2014
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

External Sources

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