Rockport Plant is a 2,600.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by American Electric Power near Rockport, Indiana.
- Parent Company: American Electric Power
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,600.0 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 1,300.0 MW (1984), Unit 2: 1,300.0 MW (1989)
- Location: 2791 North U.S. 231, Rockport, IN 47635
- GPS Coordinates: 37.925861, -87.035528
- Technology: Supercritical
- Coal type: Bituminous
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: Mine No 6 (Lexington Coal Company), Republic Energy Mine (Contura Energy), Five Mile Prep Plant and Refuse (Blackhawk), Mammoth Mine (Contura)
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: Unit 1 is scheduled for retirement by 2028
In 1989, plant owners Indiana Michigan Power and AEG Generation Company (EAGCo) each sold their 50% ownership of unit 2 to investment company Wilmington Trust Company. Wilmington Trust, in turn, leased back the unit to the American Electric Power (AEP) subsidiaries for 33 years until December 7, 2022.
On November 5, 2020, S&P Global reported that the AEP subsidiaries will not renew the lease on Rockport Unit 2 after it expires in 2022.
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 20,181,545 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 83,543 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 28,124 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 1,179 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Rockport
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 Rockport Plant
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||104||$52,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011
Coal Waste Site
Rockport ranked 87th 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.
Rockport Plant ranked number 87 on the list, with 281,995 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
Rockport ninth in 2009 mercury emissions
The 2011 Environmental Defense Fund report, "Mercury Alert: Cleaning up Coal Plants for Healthier Lives" found that 25 plants alone are responsible for nearly a third of all mercury emissions in the power sector, while providing only eight percent of U.S. electricity. The findings are based on 2009 U.S. Department of Energy data. The plant with the ninth highest mercury emissions was Rockport Plant, releasing 852 lbs in 2009. According to Katheryn R. Mahaffey, Ph.D., of the U.S. EPA, mercury affects the environment and human health in the following ways:
- Mercury in the air settles into surface waters or onto land where it is washed into water. Deposited in lakes and ponds, this mercury is converted by certain microorganisms to a highly toxic form of the chemical known as methylmercury.
- Methylmercuryaccumulates in fish and shellfish, as well as birds and mammals that feed on fish. Humans are exposed to mercury when they eat contaminated fish and shellfish. Fish and shellfish are the main sources of human methylmercuryexposure.
- Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system of people of all ages. Unborn babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to high levels of methylmercuryin their bloodstreams.
- High levels of methylmercurycan harm the developing nervous systems of fetuses and young children, resulting in later difficulties thinking and learning.
- An estimated average of 410,000 infants are born annually in the U.S. to mothers with blood mercury concentrations in excess of EPA’s Reference Dose
Articles and Resources
- "AEP Sec 10-k filing 2015" sec.gov, accesses November 9, 2020
- "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
- "Massive Indiana coal plant to shut down" E&E news, July 18, 2019
- "Wilmington Trust Company vs AEGCO and Indiana Michigan Power" findlaw.com, Accessed November 9, 2020
- "AEP to retire more than 1,600 MW of coal capacity" S&P Global, November 5, 2020
- "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.
- "Mercury Alert: Cleaning up Coal Plants for Healthier Lives" Environmental Defense Fund report, March 2011.
- Kathryn R. Mahaffey, Ph.D., "NHANES 1999-2002 Update on Mercury," Northeast Regional Mercury Conference, April 2006
- 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
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