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Meredosia Power Station

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

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Meredosia Power Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Ameren near Meredosia, Illinois.

In October 2011, Ameren announced it will likely shutter its Meredosia Power Station and Hutsonville Power Station by the end of the year, saying the price of complying with impending U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules - particularly the Transport Rule - was too costly. The plants provided about 4 percent of Ameren's total generation over the last two years. The Meredosia Energy Center is also the proposed site for FutureGen 2.0, and Ameren said shuttering the plant will not impact the FutureGen project.[1]

The power stations were shut down in 2011.[2]

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Ameren Energy Generating Company
  • Parent Company: Ameren
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 354 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 58 MW (1948), 58 MW (1949), 239 MW (1960)
  • Location: 800 South Washington St., Meredosia, IL 62665
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.823269, -90.5672
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,136,279 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Meredosia

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[3] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Meredosia Power Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 4 $00,000
Heart attacks 6 $0,000
Asthma attacks 7 $,000
Hospital admissions 3 $,000
Chronic bronchitis 2 $00,000
Asthma ER visits 4 $,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011

Meredosia chosen site for carbon capture

On February 28, 2011, FutureGen Alliance announced Morgan County, Illinois, will house the $1.3 billion underground carbon dioxide storage facility for the coal gasification plant FutureGen 2.0. An estimated 32-miles of pipeline will also be constructed to pump the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions into the 4,500-foot deep underground site located north of Interstate 72 and west of County Highway 123. FutureGen Alliance claims the site could permanently store more than 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.[5]

On June 1, 2011, legislation needed for three multibillion-dollar coal gasification projects to move forward in Illinois - FutureGen 2.0, Power Holdings Company plant and a proposed $3-billion Chicago plant at an abandoned steel site along the Calumet River by Leucadia - arrived at Governor Pat Quinn's desk after winning final approval in the General Assembly the night before. The FutureGen bill addresses the legal liability issue of storing CO2 underground in Morgan County as part of the $1.2 billion near-zero emissions project at Ameren Illinois' Meredosia Power Station also located in the county. Quinn must decide whether to sign or veto S.B. 2062, S.B. 1533 and S.B. 2169, relating to FutureGen 2.0, Leucadia and Power Holdings, respectively. Quinn has until late August 2011 to sign or veto the measures.[6]

Coal Waste Sites

Meredosia ranked 70th on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[7] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[8]

Meredosia Power Station ranked number 70 on the list, with 398,106 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[7]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Julie Wernau, "Ameren to shutter 2 coal plants in Illinois" Chicago Tribune, Oct. 4, 2011.
  2. "FACTBOX-U.S. coal power units to retire," Reuters, May 07, 2012.
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  5. "Morgan County wins $1.3 billion FutureGen clean coal project" Illinois Statehouse News, Feb. 28, 2011.
  6. Sayeh Tavangar, "Illinois passes bills for 3 gasification projects" Platts Energy Weekly, June 2, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  8. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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