The top 100 coal waste storage sites in the United States

From Global Energy Monitor

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 wastes stored in surface impoundments like the one at TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant. Sturgis used data from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[1] The following table represents the amount of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006 by the top 100 polluters.[2]

A January 2009 study by The New York Times following the enormous TVA coal ash spill found that there are more than 1,300 surface impoundments across the U.S., each of which can reach up to 1,500 acres.[3] Also in January 2009, an Associate Press study found that 156 coal-fired power plants store ash in surface ponds similar to one that ruptured at Kingston Fossil Plant. The states with the most storage in coal ash in ponds are Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. The AP's analysis found that in 2005, 721 power plants generating at least 100 MW of electricity produced 95.8 million tons of coal ash, about 20 percent of which - or almost 20 million tons - ended up in surface ponds. The rest of the ash winds up in landfills or is sold for other uses.[4]

The top 100 coal waste storage sites

Rank Facility Corporate Owner City State 2006 Surface Impoundment Releases (lbs.)
1 Stanton Energy Center Orlando Utilities Commission Orlando FL 8,423,056
2 Sherburne County Generating Plant Xcel Energy Becker MN 4,721,862
3 Coal Creek Station Great River Energy Underwood ND 4,372,709
4 Scherer Steam Electric Plant Georgia Power / Southern Company Juliette GA 4,114,502
5 Detroit Edison Monroe Power Plant DTE Energy Monroe MI 4,110,859
6 Gibson Generating Station Duke Energy Owensville IN 3,030,524
7 Gorgas Steam Plant Alabama Power / Southern Company Parrish AL 2,888,290
8 Cholla Power Plant Arizona Public Service Company Joseph City AZ 2,863,427
9 Wansley Steam Plant Georgia Power / Southern Company Roopville GA 2,673,672
10 Ghent Generating Station E.ON US Ghent KY 2,664,501
11 J.M. Stuart Station Dayton Power & Light, Duke, AEP Manchester OH 2,456,637
12 Harllee Branch Generating Plant Georgia Power / Southern Company Milledgeville GA 2,433,945
13 Barry Steam Plant Alabama Power / Southern Company Bucks AL 2,350,349
14 Gaston Steam Plant Alabama Power / Southern Company Wilsonville AL 2,306,006
15 Miller Steam Plant Alabama Power / Southern Company Quinton AL 2,160,349
16 La Cygne Generating Station Great Plains Energy Lacygne KS 2,127,000
17 Gallatin Fossil Plant Tennessee Valley Authority Gallatin TN 2,093,068
18 Boswell Energy Center Minnesota Power Cohasset MN 2,009,628
19 Leland Olds Station Basin Electric Power Cooperative Stanton ND 1,937,821
20 Widows Creek Fossil Plant Tennessee Valley Authority Stevenson AL 1,864,177
21 Paradise Fossil Plant Tennessee Valley Authority Drakesboro KY 1,765,148
22 Labadie Power Station AmerenUE Labadie MO 1,740,882
23 Kingston Fossil Plant Tennessee Valley Authority Harriman TN 1,738,437
24 Cardinal Plant American Electric Power Brilliant OH 1,707,225
25 Bowen Steam Plant Georgia Power / Southern Company Cartersville GA 1,684,118
26 Pearl Station Soyland Power Cooperative Pearl IL 1,661,744
27 New Madrid Power Plant Associated Electric Cooperative Marston MO 1,514,440
28 Kammer and Mitchell Plants American Electric Power Moundsville WV 1,372,687
29 Kyger Creek Station Ohio Valley Electric Corp. Cheshire OH 1,356,475
30 Greene County Steam Plant Alabama Power / Southern Company Forkland AL 1,343,973
31 Baldwin Energy Station Dynegy Baldwin IL 1,324,467
32 Rush Island Power Station AmerenUE Festus MO 1,307,769
33 Karn and Weadock Generating Plants Consumers Energy Essexville MI 1,171,382
34 Cayuga Generating Station Duke Energy Cayuga IL 1,154,623
35 Council Bluffs Energy Center MidAmerican Energy Council Bluffs IA 1,092,320
36 Chesterfield Power Station Dominion Chester VA 1,088,260
37 Milton R. Young Station Minnkota Power Cooperative Center ND 1,036,290
38 Wabash River Generating Station Duke Energy W. Terre Haute IN 951,610
39 A. B. Brown Generating Station Vectren Mount Vernon IL 944,944
40 Big Sandy Plant American Electric Power Louisa KY 915,079
41 Amos Plant American Electric Power Winfield WV 864,024
42 Big Cajun II NRG Energy New Roads LA 860,640
43 Hammond Steam Generating Station Georgia Power / Southern Company Rome GA 849,068
44 Tanners Creek Plant American Electric Power Lawrenceburg IN 819,840
45 Muskingum River Plant American Electric Power Beverly OH 791,757
46 Mayo Generating Plant Progress Energy Roxboro NC 786,128
47 Killen Generating Station Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy Manchester OH 715,435
48 Roxboro Steam Plant Progress Energy Semora NC 698,290
49 Trimble County Generating Station E.ON US Bedford KY 637,434
50 E.W. Brown Generating Station E.ON US Harrodsburg KY 637,230
51 George Neal Station North MidAmerican Energy Sergeant Bluff IA 612,005
52 Clifty Creek Station Ohio Valley Electric Corp. Madison IN 590,808
53 Welsh Power Plant American Electric Power Pittsburg TX 562,064
54 Coleto Creek Power Station International Power Fannin TX 550,623
55 L. V. Sutton Electric Plant Progress Energy Wilmington NC 548,210
56 Laramie River Station Basin Electric Power Cooperative Wheatland WY 541,970
57 Lansing Smith Generating Plant Gulf Power / Southern Company Southport FL 520,282
58 Naughton Power Plant PacifiCorp / MidAmerican Energy Kemmerer WY 517,966
59 Meramec Power Plant AmerenUE Saint Louis MO 481,318
60 Shawnee Fossil Plant Tennessee Valley Authority West Paducah KY 467,616
61 Brayton Point Station Dominion Somerset MA 464,254
62 Duck Creek Station Ameren Canton IL 462,272
63 Twin Oaks Power Station OptimEnergy Bremond TX 449,002
64 Conesville Power Plant American Electric Power Conesville OH 447,846
65 G.G. Allen Steam Plant Duke Energy Belmont NC 439,208
66 Montrose Station Great Plains Energy Clinton MO 422,100
67 Allen Fossil Plant Tennessee Valley Authority Memphis TN 416,705
68 Cliffside Plant Duke Energy Mooresboro NC 413,459
69 Asheville Plant Progress Energy Arden NC 411,793
70 Meredosia Power Station Ameren Meredosia IL 398,106
71 Louisa Generating Station MidAmerican Energy Muscatine IA 382,063
72 Asbury Generating Station Empire Distric Electric Co. Asbury MO 381,186
73 H. W. Pirkey Power Plant American Electric Power Hallsville TX 380,111
74 Yates Steam Generating Plant Georgia Power / Southern Company Newnan GA 376,610
75 Joppa Steam Plant Ameren Joppa IL 366,675
76 Havana Power Station Ameren Havana IL 360,772
77 Apache Generating Station Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Cochise AZ 360,465
78 Canadys Station SCE&G / SCANA Canadys SC 357,897
79 Lee Steam Plant Progress Energy Goldsboro NC 356,078
80 Kincaid Generating Station Dominion Kincaid IL 355,108
81 Cape Fear Steam Plant Progress Energy Moncure NC 334,076
82 Intermountain Power Station Intermountain Power Service Corp. Delta UT 333,589
83 Frank Ratts Generating Station Hoosier Energy Petersburg IN 330,014
84 McDonough / Atkinson Steam Plant Georgia Power / Southern Company Smyrna GA 318,051
85 Petersburg Generating Station AES Petersburg IN 309,961
86 Dolet Hills Power Station Cleco Mansfield LA 291,208
87 Rockport Plant American Electric Power Rockport IN 281,995
88 Buck Steam Station Duke Energy Spencer NC 279,190
89 Hugo Plant Western Farmers Electric Cooperative Hugo OK 275,203
90 Wood River Station Dynegy Alton IL 267,066
91 Gallagher Generating Station Duke Energy New Albany IN 260,183
92 Oklaunion Power Station American Electric Power Vernon TX 254,652
93 Gadsden Steam Plant Alabama Power / Southern Company Gadsden AL 249,740
94 Iatan Generating Station Great Plains Energy Weston MO 240,245
95 Sioux Power Plant AmerenUE West Alton MO 226,193
96 Flint Creek Power Plant American Electric Power Gentry AR 221,456
97 Riverton Power Plant Empire District Electric Company Riverton KS 212,688
98 Spurlock Power Station East Kentucky Power Cooperative Maysville KY 196,954
99 Jeffrey Energy Center Westar Energy Saint Marys KS 190,417
100 W.S. Lee Steam Station Duke Energy Pelzer SC 190,030
Total 114,790,602

Table courtesy of Sue Sturgis and the Institute for Southern Studies, based on EPA data for 2006. Figures rounded to the nearest pound.[2]

Articles and resources


  1. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  3. Shaila Dewan, "Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation," New York Times, January 7, 2009.
  4. Dina Cappiello, "Toxic Coal Ash Piling up in Ponds in 32 States," Associated Press, January 9, 2009.

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