Riverton Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Riverton Power Plant was a 87.5-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Empire District Electric Company in Riverton, Kansas.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Empire District Electric Company
  • Parent Company: Empire District Electric Company
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 87.5 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 7: 37.5 MW (1950), Unit 8: 50.0 MW (1954)
  • Location: 7240 Southeast Hwy. 66, Riverton, KS 66770
  • GPS Coordinates: 37.071802, -94.700117
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 7 retired in 2014 and Unit 8 in 2015.[1]

Natural Gas

Units 7 and 8 were removed together with unit 9, a 12.5-megawatt natural gas fired combustion turbine to make room for the new unit 12-2, a 118.8-megawatt natural gas fired combined cycle unit that went online in May 2016.[1]

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 693,649 tons (2005)
  • SO2 Emissions: 4,357 tons (2005)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 17.84 lb/MWh
  • NOx Emissions: 1,442 tons (2005)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Riverton 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.[2] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), 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. 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.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Riverton Power 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.[3]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 6 $44,000,000
Heart attacks 9 $1,000,000
Asthma attacks 100 $5,000
Hospital admissions 4 $100,000
Chronic bronchitis 4 $1,700,000
Asthma ER visits 7 $2,000

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

Coal Waste Site

Riverton ranked 97th 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]

Riverton Power Plant ranked number 97 on the list, with 212,688 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[4]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory" eia.gov, 860m March 2020
  2. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  3. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  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.

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