|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Sierra Club: Lauren McGrath | 502.742.452
Sierra Club: Kristin Henry, Staff Attorney | 415.977.5716
Kentucky Environmental Foundation: Deborah Payne | 859.986.0868
New Report: Nine KY Power Plants Violating Federal Clean Air Standards
Putting Kentuckians’ Health at Risk
Louisville, KY – On Tuesday, July 17th the Sierra Club, joined by Kentucky Environmental Foundation, released new findings showing nine Kentucky power plants are violating national air quality standards for sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide, one of the most dangerous pollutants from coal burning power plants can affect breathing, impact individuals with cardiovascular disease and is of particular concern for the young and the elderly
Family practice physician John A. Patterson, MD expressed medical community concerns about air pollution in the form of sulfur dioxide emissions. "The combustion of coal creates sulfur dioxide, a type of fine particulate matter air pollution that can cause pulmonary inflammation, exacerbation of asthma, decreased lung function, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”
Of the nine power plants included in the report, most of which are located near Kentucky’s largest urban areas, all were found to be in significant violation with air quality standards. Coal plants listed in the report include - Big Sandy, Cane Run, Cooper, Dale, Green River, Spurlock, Mill Creek, Robert Reid and the Tyrone Generating Stations.
“Releasing so much pollution into the air means electric utilities are putting our health at unnecessary risk”, stated mother, Valerie Magnuson, whose home located a few miles from LG&E's Cane Run Power Plant. “Families with asthmatic children are paying for the cost of the coal industry's failure to follow the law. A trip to the emergency room can cost over $600 and if a patient is admitted bills can reach over $6000. It's a significant financial burden for working families living near the plants.”
Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection agency establishes National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQs) for pollutants such as sulfur dioxide that have the potential to harm the public health. The EPA must review these standards every five years to determine if they are adequate to protect public health. EPA has determined that sulfur dioxide is causally linked to asthma attacks, severe respiratory problems, lung disease, and risk of heart complications.
Areas of the Commonwealth with air pollution exceeding that established by NAAQS are classified as non-attainment. Findings in this report show that all of Lexington and most of Louisville are in non-attainment for sulfur dioxide.
“In Louisville, the LG&E Cane Run and Mill Creek Plants have been spewing dirty pollution into the Cane Run and Valley village communities since 1953 (Cane Run) and 1972 (Mill Creek),” stated Kathy Little, who lives adjacent to LG&E’s Cane Run plant. “Both plants are in densely populated areas within 5 miles of each other and situated in the heart of Louisville’s largest working class communities. The best option for our community as well as LG&E’s ratepayers would be for LG&E to retire both plants and invest in energy efficiency and clean, affordable energy. The Cane Run and Mill Creek plant present real and constant threats to the health and well being of the surrounding community and damage the air and water quality of the entire Ohio River Valley.”
For a full copy of the report findings, go to - https://www.box.com/s/hvkmtdvspluhzuridux5
Download or print a copy of this press-release.
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