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.