AEP / Coal / Duke Energy / Energy / FirstEnergy

Feds propose air-pollution limits for coal-fired power plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Federal environmental authorities say proposed rules to cut air pollution at coal-fired power plants would save lives and cut health-care costs.

To meet the standards, including cutting mercury pollution by 91 percent, power companies in Ohio and nationwide would have to install more scrubbers and filters. Some companies say they would shut down smaller plants to save on costs.

The rules the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed yesterday would place the first-ever limits on mercury and other hazardous air pollutants that escape power-plant smoke stacks. They would have to be in place by 2016.

The changes are expected to increase the price of electricity. EPA officials estimate that the average monthly bill would go up by $3 to $4…

The effect on Ohioans is unclear. Many of the utility-owned power plants here already have scrubbers and other pollution filters that were installed to help meet previous pollution limits and the terms of federal pollution lawsuit settlements.

Four of five generating units at American Electric Power’s Muskingum River plant and its Picway plant south of Columbus have no scrubbers or filters. It’s the same for Duke Energy’s Beckjord station and FirstEnergy’s Bayshore, Lake Shore, Ashtabula, Burger and Eastlake plants.

AEP officials have said in the past that installing scrubbers and filters at small stations, such as Picway, could make the plants too expensive to run.”

— Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch

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