Miller Steam Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

James H. Miller Jr. Steam Plant is a 2,822.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Alabama Power near Quinton, Alabama.


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Plant Data

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 23,466,022 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 53,379 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 21,237 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 1,595 lb.

Coal Waste Site

Alabama Power Company Clean Air Settlement

On April 25, 2006 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA announced a partial settlement alleging that the Alabama Power Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Company had allegedly violated New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act at its Miller Steam Plant, a coal-fired power plant.

The EPA announced that its decree will reduce emissions of harmful sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the plant, with costs that will reach $200 million.

"We are pleased that Alabama Power has committed to measures that will reduce the pollution from their plants and contribute to overall improved air quality, and this settlement secures for the citizens of Alabama and downwind states a dramatic and permanent reduction of more than 27,000 tons per year of harmful air pollutants from the James H. Miller, Jr. Plant," said Granta Y, Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "EPA will continue to enforce our nation's environmental laws and bring us closer to ensuring clean air compliance across our nation."

By May 1, 2008, the Miller plant will commence year round operation at both it units in order to reduce emissions. The EPA also noted that in order to "further reduce SO2 emissions into the atmosphere, Alabama Power will purchase and retire $4.9 million worth of SO2 allowances (each allowance is equal to one ton of SO2) under the acid rain trading program of the Clean Air Act, which will reduce SO2 emissions nationwide by an estimated 6,600 tons."

This partial settlement resolves the claim brought to Alabama Power that they allegedly violated NSR requirements by not completing construction of two units at the Miller plant within the time frame required to qualify as "existing" rather and "new" air pollution sources.[3]

Pollution Emissions

Miller ranked 15th 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.[4] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[5]

Miller Steam Plant ranked number 15 on the list, with 2,160,349 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[4]

Miller ranked 2nd in terms of largest carbon dioxide emissions

According to a 2009 report by Environment America, "America's Biggest Polluters," the Miller plant is the second dirtiest plant in the nation, releasing 23.7 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007. Ranking is based upon Environmental Protection Agency data.[6]

In January 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new website that identifies most of the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Two Southern Company coal plants near Atlanta are identified as the biggest contributors to U.S. global greenhouse gases - the Scherer Steam Generating Station in Juliette and Plant Bowen west of Cartersville, respectively - with a third Southern plant in Alabama identified as the third-biggest emitter, the Miller Steam Plant in Quinton.[7]

Miller ranked 7th in terms of mercury emissions

A 2010 report by the Environmental Integrity Project using EPA data found that Miller is the 7th worst mercury polluter in the United States, emitting 1,158 pounds of mercury in 2008, the most recent year for data.[8]

Miller plant highest in coal ash toxins

According to a 2011 analysis of data in the U.S. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory, the Environmental Integrity Project found that Alabama Power's Miller Steam Plant in western Jefferson County, Alabama, sends more toxic metals to its ash pond than any other plant in the country -- more than 5 million pounds annually.[9]

Citizen Groups

See also Alabama and coal

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Alabama Power Annual Report 2019, page 28", accessed June 2020
  2. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  3. "Alabama Power Company to Spend More Than $200 Million Under Clean Air Act Settlement" EPA Website, October 8, 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  5. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  6. "America's Biggest Polluters: Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Power Plants in 2007" Environment America, November 24, 2009
  7. David Ibata, "Study: Southern Company plants are 3 biggest greenhouse gas emitters" Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 11, 2012.
  8. "Dirty Kilowatts: America's Top 50 Power Plant Mercury Polluters" EIP Report, March 2010.
  9. Thomas Spencer, "Jefferson County plant disposes most toxic ash in US", January 06, 2012.

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