Power plant forks out $400m to curb pollution

The operators of a coal-fired power plant have agreed to spend $400m on pollution controls and pay a $950,000 fine to escape prosecution.

The Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP) agreed the deal with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

The new pollution control equipment at its Coronado Generating Station in St Johns, Arizona, will reduce combined emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by more than 21,000 tonnes each year.

SRP will also spend $4m on environment projects in the local community, including installing solar photovoltaic panels on school buildings in Arizona, and offering incentives to residential homeowners to get energy-efficient stoves.

The settlement marks the first time a coal-fired power plant in the western US will retrofit selective catalytic reduction (SRC) controls.

“This settlement marks a significant step in controlling harmful nitrogen oxide emissions in the western United States,” said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA’s enforcement and compliance assurance program.

“The installation of state-of-the-art technology sets an important benchmark for the control of this harmful pollutant.

“EPA is committed to ensuring coal-fired power plants comply with the Clean Air Act.”

The new removal system is expected to capture about 95% of sulphur dioxide emissions.

Richard Hayslip, SRP’s associate general manager of Environmental, Land and Risk Management, said: “During its existence as a necessary source of electricity for residents in the Phoenix area, Coronado Generating Station has performed reliably and has consistently achieved emission levels better than required by both state and federal emission control standards.

“With the agreement we have reached with the EPA, Cororado Generating Station will continue to be a critical component of our generation portfolio and will soon be equipped with state-of-the-art emission controls that will help protect the environment.”

More information on the settlement can be found here.

Kate Martin

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