State’s plants among dirtiest
Power plants in Evansville and Floyd County on list of
top three polluters.
From The Associated Press
Published May 13, 2005
Coal-burning power plants in Indiana are among the dirtiest
in the nation, a study by an environmental group shows.
The Environmental Integrity Project, a Washington-based
environmental group, said the dirtiest plants produce
just 14 percent of the nation’s power, but up to 50 percent
of sulfur dioxide pollution, which causes acid rain and
compounds that can carry poisons deep into the lungs.
Those plants also release 42 percent of mercury pollution,
40 percent of nitrogen oxides and 35 percent of carbon
dioxide, the group said.
Nationwide, the government says, those pollutants kill
20,000 people a year.
“You might say the electric power industry has a dirty
secret,” said Ilan Levin, who wrote the report. “What
we found was that all electric power generation in the
United States is far from equal.”
Indiana had two of the top three polluting plants for
sulfur dioxide, measured by pollutants per unit of electricity
— Alcoa’s Warrick Power Plant east of Evansville ranked
No. 1, and Cynergy/PSI’s Gallagher plant in Floyd County
was rated third. Six of the plants listed among the nation’s
top 50 were in Indiana.
Alcoa officials, however, dispute the No. 1 ranking,
and Levin later acknowledged it is likely too high. The
Warrick plant, which supplies electricity to Alcoa’s aluminum
smelter next door, has one generating unit it co-owns
with another utility. So although all of its pollution
was reported, officials said, not all of its electricity
was, artificially inflating its pollution rate.
Plainfield-based Cinergy/PSI had three of its power plants
among those listed. Company officials said they have spent
millions of dollars to clean emissions and are scheduled
to spend millions more during the next few years. The
utility is spending more than $1 billion to reduce emissions
at its Indiana power plants.
Bruce Nilles, representative for the Sierra Clubs Great
Lakes Clean Air program, said it is especially disturbing
that 11 of the dirtiest power plants are in the Great