Clifty Creek Station
Clifty Creek Station is a 1,303.8-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Ohio Valley Electric Corporation near Madison, Indiana.
The plant is named after the nearby Clifty Creek, which enters the Ohio River just south of the plant.
- Owner: Ohio Valley Electric Corporation
- Parent Company: American Electric Power (43.47%), Buckeye Power (18%), Duke Energy (9%), FirstEnergy (8.35%), Wolverine Power Cooperative (6.65%), LG&E Energy 5.63%, AES (4.9%), Kentucky Utilities Company 2.5%, Vectren (1.5%)
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,303.8 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 217.3 MW (1955), Unit 2: 217.3 MW (1955), Unit 3: 217.3 MW (1955), Unit 4: 217.3 MW (1955), Unit 5: 217.3 MW (1955), Unit 6: 217.3 MW (1956)
- Location: 1335 Clifty Hollow Rd., Madison, IN 47250
- GPS Coordinates: 38.737926, -85.419738
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source:
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements:
- AEP (43.47%)
- Buckeye Power (18%)
- Duke Energy (9%)
- FirstEnergy (8.35%)
- PPL (8.13%)
- Wolverine Power Cooperative (6.65%)
- AES (4.9%)
- Vectren (1.5%)
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,811,930 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 65,372 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 21,662 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 390 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Clifty Creek
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 Clifty Creek Station
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||120||$46,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011
Coal Waste Site
Clifty Creek ranked 52nd 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.
Clifty Creek Station ranked number 52 on the list, with 590,808 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
Valley Watch's Executive Director, John Blair, has called the Clifty Creek Station near Madison, Indiana "one of Indiana's largest, dirtiest and oldest coal fired power plants Coming on-line in 1955 to serve a single customer--the now defunct uranium enrichment facility operated by the U.S Department of Energy in Portsmouth, Ohio- Clifty Creek today is nothing more than an incredibly old and dirty "merchant" plant."
In 2003 Valley called for a comprehensive study on the environmental and health effects of the plant in the area. In 2007 the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) asked the EPA to add 16 additional sites to its Coal Combustion Waste Damage Assessment list. Included in EIP's report was Clifty Creek, which they stated that the waste from the site is polluting groundwater tables. While no lawsuits have yet to be filed Clifty Creek is the 52nd most polluting coal waste site in the nation. Even so, scrubbers are set to be installed at the facility by the end of 2010. Valley Watch and others have argued that this will only prolong the life of the plant and not address carbon dioxide emissions or coal waste problems.
On July 11, 2008, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down (vacated in its entirety) the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). The court ruled that CAIR would not require individual states to reduce emissions but rather focused on regional emissions reductions goals and cap and trade, conflicting with the requirements for clear results of the Clean Air Act. Construction that had begun on scrubbers at Clifty was ended.
On July 24, 2010, the Clifty plant was shut down after a boiler tube failed unexpectedly and steam leaked out of it. No one was injured. Although the failure was in tubing for just one of the six boilers, all were shut down for inspection. There is no estimate of when the power plant will begin fully operating again.
Blair has said the entire plant should be retired since it does not serve as baseload power by any of its owners. Plant owners say the closure will not have an impact on electricity availability for any of the companies that own the plant or their customers.
Ohio HB 6 and coal subsidies
In May 2019 the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 6 (HB6) which beginning in January 2020 levied a fee of roughly 58 cents per bill for residential customers and 85 cents per 1,000 kilowatt-hour for commercial and industrial customers. Revenues from these fees are being used to subsidize Clifty Creek and another coal-fired plant, Kyger Creek Station in Ohio. Shortly after the passage of HB6 FirstEnergy also announced that it would delay the planned retirement of its coal-fired Sammis Plant in Stratton, Ohio.
In July 2020 Ohio Speaker Larry Householder (R) and four associates were arrested and charged with coordinating a $60 million bribery scheme with FirstEnergy, in return for which Householder included a bailout for two FirstEnergy nuclear power plants as part of HB 6. In August 2020 the Ohio legislature began considering several bills that would partially or completely repeal HB6.
Articles and Resources
- "Wolverine also owns shares of base load coal from 3 coal fired power plants" wolverinepowercooperative.com , accessed October 25, 2020
- "Annual Report 2016, Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, 2016
- "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.
- "Comprehensive review sought on Clifty Creek power plant," The Bloomington Alternative, January 12, 2003.
- [www.environmentalintegrity.org/pdf/newsreports/2009-01-07-CASE.pdf "Comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Coal Combustion Waste Damage Case Assessment,"] Environmental Integrity Project, July 2007.
- "DC Circuit Court of Appeals kills CAIR rule" American Coal Council, July 16, 2008.
- Peggy Vlerebome, "Steam leak shuts power plant" Madison Courier, July 20, 2010.
- There’s a lot of important stuff in Ohio House Bill 6 besides the nuclear bailout, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sep. 15, 2020
- David Roberts, Ohio just passed the worst energy bill of the 21st century, Vox, Jul. 27, 2019
- Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder arrested in $60M bribery case related to HB6 nuclear bailout, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jul. 21, 2020
- Capitol Insider: Ohio Senate likely to repeal HB 6 before Election Day, Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 23, 2020
- 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
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- Indiana and coal
- Ohio Valley Electric Corporation
- American Electric Power
- United States and coal
- Global warming