TVA to Close 18 Coal Units in Settlement of Air Pollution Suit


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will shut down 18 of its dirtiest coal-burning units over the next six years as part of a legal settlement with four U.S. states and three environmental groups that claimed the utility’s air emissions violated the Clean Air Act.

The agreement, announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), represents one of the most significant reductions in coal-fired generation by any utility.

By 2017, the TVA’s nitrogen oxide emissions will be cut 69 percent from 2008 levels, and sulfur dioxide emissions will be reduced by 67 percent.

The federally-owned utility will also have to spend $3 billion to $5 billion on new and updated pollution controls and invest $350 million in clean energy projects.

According to the EPA, the measures will prevent 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths and 21,000 cases of asthma annually. The closures, which will occur at power plants located in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, represent about 16 percent of the authority’s coal-fired capacity.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.



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2 comments on “TVA to Close 18 Coal Units in Settlement of Air Pollution Suit

Joey Williams

Wow! At first reading this I was happy the government for once was taking charge of shutting down coal plants but when I thought about it more they are doing the opposite of what they have promised for years…making jobs! By shutting down 18 coal plants ( that provide reliable electric power sources )that puts thousands of people out of work and while it helps reduce our carbon foot print it does little to help our struggling economy. Coal is our number 1 energy production in the US but we sell most of it to China when it be cheaper to just keep it here and use it ourselves as an electric power sources. It costs us less that 5 cents to run a microwave for 1 hour off coal power but we’d rather send the coal to China for the money they offer.It doesn’t make since to close plants when your opening new ones like the surry coal plant right by my house of all places. Good article with knowledge and facts but disappointing for those losing their jobs and a safe electric power sources even though it will help out the environment.

Captain Obvious

Plenty of jobs opening up installing solar panels. I’d rather do that than be a coal miner.

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