Coal Power Plant Project Could Cut Emissions by 96%

The project comes after the federal agency agreed to resolve longstanding disputes over the pollution emitted by its plants.
September 23, 2013
 

At 370 feet tall, the new chimney set to rise in the coming weeks over the Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal-burning power plant near Gallatin will be visible for miles around.

Rather than serving as a reminder of the pollution expelled daily from the plant, this towering stack will serve a different purpose: a symbol of potentially cleaner skies.

Workers are set to start pouring concrete this week for the chimney that’s part of a $1.1 billion project to cut certain emissions at TVA’s Gallatin Fossil Plant by as much as 96 percent.

The federal agency embarked this year on a nearly five-year effort to construct machines at the plant that would cut mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions — pollutants that can cause respiratory and other health problems.

The project comes after the federal agency agreed to resolve longstanding disputes over the pollution emitted by its plants. TVA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, four states and three environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, to lower its emissions to meet new requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.

The agreement forced the federal agency to weigh whether it made more financial sense to invest money in reducing emissions or shut down the plant, as it opted to do at other sites.

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