More Worries and Battles, Our Air as well as Our Water

Three of Dirtiest Coal-Fired Plants

in Western Pa., one in Beaver County

By Don Hopey
Beaver County Blue via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Dec 8, 2011 – Three of the 10 dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the nation are located in Western Pennsylvania, according to a new report that also ranks the state first overall in emissions of toxic air pollutants like arsenic, chromium, hydrochloric acid, lead and mercury.

The report was issued Wednesday by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club, and was based on the self-reported industry emissions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 Toxics Release Inventory.

The report ranked Genon’s Shawville Power Plant in Clearfield County third dirtiest in the nation, followed by EME’s Homer City Power Plant in Indiana County (seventh) and FirstEnergy’s Bruce Mansfield Power Plant in Beaver County (ninth).

States ranking behind Pennsylvania for worst overall power plant emissions are, in order, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas. Pennsylvania is downwind from all but Texas.

Pennsylvania leads the nation in emissions of lead and arsenic, and has increased its arsenic emissions over the last decade, from 15,861 pounds in 2001 to 17,666 pounds in 2010.

The EPA proposed the first national standards to control toxic pollution from power plants — mainly mercury, fine particles, heavy metals and acid gases — in March 2011 but delayed promulgating them in September. The EPA is poised to adopt them later this month.

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