Cayuga Generating Station
Cayuga Generating Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Duke Energy near Cayuga, Indiana.
Under a plan submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on May 24, 2011, Duke Energy said it plans to shut down two coal-burning units at its Gallagher Generating Station and purchase a share of the Cayuga Generating Station in Indiana to make up the difference. The plan is being considered as a potential settlement option in a more than a decade-old lawsuit the company has with the EPA. Duke had been exploring the idea of converting two of the Gallagher burners to natural gas via running a gas pipeline from Kentucky. But the gas pipeline would cost $71 million, while Duke would pay $68 million for its share of the Vermillion Plant, owned by both Duke Ohio — an unregulated subsidiary of Duke Energy — and Wabash Valley Power Association. Duke Energy would own 62.5 percent of that plant and Wabash would own the remainder.
The lawsuit that initiated the filing relates to air quality: the EPA alleges Cinergy — which merged with Duke Energy in 2006 — undertook six power-plant upgrades that added new coal burners in Indiana and Ohio without obtaining new permits as required by New Source Review provisions. Both the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will have to approve either option before Duke moves ahead.
- Owner: PSI Energy
- Parent Company: Duke Energy
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,062 MW
- Units and In-Service Dates: 531 MW (1970), 531 MW (1972)
- Location: 3300 N. SR 63, Cayuga, IN 47928
- GPS Coordinates: 39.921083, -87.423194
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source:
- Number of Employees:
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 5,886,977 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 83,174 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 9,161 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 240 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Cayuga
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 Cayuga Generating Station
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||100||$37,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011
Coal waste Sites
- Cayuga Generating Station Ash Disposal Area Number 1
- Cayuga Generating Station Lined Ash Disposal Pond Cell Number 1
- Cayuga Generating Station Primary Ash Settling Basin
- Cayuga Generating Station Secondary Ash Settling Basin
Cayuga ranked 34th 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. The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.
Cayuga Generating Station ranked number 34 on the list, with 1,154,623 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
Articles and Resources
- 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.
Related SourceWatch Articles
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- Daniel Suddeath, "Duke plans to shut 2 coal-burning units, buy share in 3rd" Clarion, May 30, 2011.
- "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
- Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
- TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.