Cambria Cogeneration Facility
Cambria Cogeneration Facility was a 98.0-megawatt (MW) waste coal-fired power station owned and operated by Cambria CoGen Company near Ebensburg, Pennsylvania.
- Owner: Cambria CoGen Company
- Parent Company: Northern Star Generation (majority owned by UBS)
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 98.0 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 98 MW (1991)
- Location: 243 Rubisch Rd., Ebensburg, PA 15931
- GPS Coordinates: 40.473611, -78.70138
- Technology: Subcritical Fluidized Bed Technology
- Coal type: Waste Coal
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: Pennsylvania Coal Refuse Sites
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: The plant retired in 2019
In April 2019, it was reported the waste coal plant will shut down in the summer of 2019 until at least 2021, if not permanently. According to plant owner Northern Star: "With energy prices so low, the Cambria Cogen station has struggled over the years, forcing the facility to operate as a merchant plant ... basically generating energy on an as-needed basis." Since 2011 the plant has not had a steady, direct contract to provide power. In December 2019, Northern Star confirmed the plant was shut down and the site had been transferred to an Indiana salvage company, which will dismantle the facility over time and sell off materials of value.
- CO2 Emissions: 982,688 tons (2006)
- SO2 Emissions: 2,089 tons (2002)
- SO2 Emissions per MWh: 5.28 lb/MWh
- NOx Emissions: 867 tons (2002)
- Mercury Emissions:
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Cambria
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. 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.
Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Cambria Cogeneration Facility
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||12||$5,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011
Articles and Resources
- "Anthracite Coal Refuse Listed by County" files.dep.state.pa.us, accessed June 2020
- "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory" eia.gov, 860m March 2020
- "Cambria Cogeneration plant to go dark – for at least two years," The Tribune Democrat, Apr 10, 2019
- Hurst, David (December 21, 2019). "Cambria Cogen plant to be leveled after shutting down over summer". The Tribune Democrat.
- "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
- "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Environmental Integrity Project, "Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants", July 2007.
- Facility Registry System, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed Feb. 2009.
- NETL Coal Power Plant Database, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2007.
- AirData Query Database, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed April 2009.