Gavin Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

The General James M. Gavin Power Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by American Electric Power near Cheshire, Ohio.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Ohio Power Company
  • Parent Company: American Electric Power
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,600 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 1,300 MW (1974), 1,300 MW (1975)
  • Location: 7397 State Rte. 7 North, Cheshire, OH 45620
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.9367, -82.1158
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 16,997,449 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 24,787 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 33,960 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 507 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Gavin Power Plant

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.[1] 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.[2]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Gavin Power Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 45 $330,000,000
Heart attacks 72 $7,800,000
Asthma attacks 700 $37,000
Hospital admissions 34 $790,000
Chronic bronchitis 27 $12,000,000
Asthma ER visits 36 $13,000

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

"High Hazard" Surface Impoundments

General James M. Gavin Power Plant Fly Ash Pond and General James M. Gavin Power Plant Bottom Ash Pond surface impoundments are on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.[3]

Gavin ranked 10th in terms of largest carbon dioxide emissions

According to a 2009 report by Environment America, "America's Biggest Polluters," the Gavin Power Plant is the tenth dirtiest plant in the nation, releasing 19.1 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007. Ranking is based upon Environmental Protection Agency data.[4]

Gavin and Mercury

A 2010 report by the Environmental Integrity Project using EPA data found that Gavin is the 12th worst mercury polluter in the United States, emitting 937 pounds of mercury in 2008, the most recent year for data, up from 435 pounds in 2007, a 115.4 percent increase. Despite more than doubling its mercury emissions, the coal-fired plant is within mercury-emission limits set by the state. An American Electric Power spokeswoman told the Columbus Dispatch the increase at Gavin was due to a switch to a different type of coal that contained more mercury.[5]

Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination

In August 2010 a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice reported that Ohio, along with 34 states, had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash that is not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, in an attempt to pressure the EPA to regulate coal ash, noted that most states do not monitor drinking water contamination levels near waste disposal sites.[6] The report mentioned Ohio based Cardinal Plant, Gavin Plant, Industrial Excess Landfill Superfund Site and the Muskingum River Plant as all having groundwater contamination due to coal ash waste.[7]

Coal Waste Sites

Other coal waste sites

To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here. To see a listing of coal waste sites in a particular state, click on the map:

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