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James De Young Generating Station

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

James De Young Generating Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by the Holland Board of Public Works in Holland, Michigan.

The plant stopped burning coal on April 13, 2016. It will continue using two units that are able to generate using natural gas when needed. The power station will be replaced with a new natural gas plant, scheduled to be running by February 2017.[1]

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Holland Board of Public Works
  • Parent Entity: City of Holland, MI
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 62.8 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 11.5 MW (1951), 22.0 MW (1962), 29.3 MW (1969)
  • Location: 64 Pine Ave., Holland, MI 49423
  • GPS Coordinates: 42.795117, -86.112029
  • Electricity Production: 301,491 MWh (2005)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 490,473 tons (2000)
  • SO2 Emissions: 2,956 tons (2002)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 19.61 lb/MWh
  • NOx Emissions: 1,272 tons (2002)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from James De Young 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.[2] 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.[3]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the James De Young Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 10 $74,000,000
Heart attacks 16 $1,800,000
Asthma attacks 180 $9,000
Hospital admissions 7 $170,000
Chronic bronchitis 6 $2,800,000
Asthma ER visits 11 $4,000

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

NAACP report gives James De Young plant an F

The 2011 report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People in Illinois" by Adrian Wilson, NAACP, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), and the Indigenous Environmental Network, gave Holland’s James De Young coal-fired plant an environmental justice grade of ‘F.’ The report analyzed toxic emissions and demographic factors including race, income and population density to calculate “environmental justice scores” for the nation’s 431 coal-fired power plants that are “significantly harmful to low-income communities and communities of color.”

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