Wood River Station
Wood River Station is a 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Dynegy near Alton, Illinois.
- Owner: Dynegy Midwest Generation
- Parent Company: Dynegy
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 500 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: 112.5 MW (1954), 387.6 MW (1964)
- Location: 3200 East Broadway, Alton, IL 62002
- GPS Coordinates: 38.866152, -90.135298
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source:
- Number of Employees:
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,414,698 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 7,628 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 2,529 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 125 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Wood River
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 Wood River Station
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||29||$11,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011
Coal Waste Site
Wood River ranked 90th 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.
Wood River Station ranked number 90 on the list, with 267,066 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
"High Hazard" Surface Impoundment
Wood River Station East Ash Pond is 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.
Illinois Power Company and Dynegy Midwest Generation
On March 7, 2005 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA along with the State of Illinois announced a settlement between Illinois Power Company and its sucesscor, Dynegy, addressing alleged violations of New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act at company's Baldwin Energy Station. The EPA noted that sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at the plant will decrease by 54,000 tons each year through the installation of approximately $500 million worth of new pollution control equipment. In addition to the Baldwin Generating Station, the Havana Power Station, Hennepin Power Station and Vermilion Power Station, Wood River Station were involved in the settlement.
The EPA stated that this "settlement requires installation of four new flue gas desulfurization devices (scrubbers) to control SO2; four new baghouses to control particulate matter (soot); and operation of existing control equipment, including three selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, year-round to control NOx. The entire five-plant system will be subject to annual emission caps to assure that significant system-wide reductions for both SO2 and NOx are achieved."
Articles and Resources
- "Dynegy to Retire Wood River Power Generation Station," Business Wire, November 04, 2015
- Seth Lemon, "Wood River Power Station closing; dozens losing their jobs," Fox News, June 1, 2016
- "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.
- Coal waste
- "U.S. Announces Settlement of Illinois Power Case - Company will spend $500 million to reduce air pollution by over 54,000 tons per year," U.S. EPA, March 7, 2005
- 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.
- Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed Feb. 2009.
Related SourceWatch Articles
- EPA Coal Plant Settlements
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- Illinois and coal
- United States and coal
- Global warming
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