New wastewater rule forces coal plant closings


Faced with an October deadline because of a new federal wastewater rule, dozens of coal-fired power plants across the U.S. are being shut down.

The Sierra Club tracked state regulatory filings and reports at least 26 plants in 14 states were found to be among those to stop burning coal.

The Club’s report cited the Northeastern Power plant run by Public Service Company of Oklahoma in Oologah. PSO actually shut down one of the units 5 years ago under an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and will close another by 2026. Two remaining units are gas-powered.

Two other coal-fired plants, the GRDA and the Muskogee plant will partially close some of their operations. Two remaining plants, the AES Shady Point and the Sooner Plant continue to burn coal.

The Associated Press reports that a new wastewater rule requires power plants to clean coal ash and toxic heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and selenium from plant wastewater before it is dumped into streams and rivers. The rule is expected to affect 75 coal-fired power plants nationwide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Click here for Associated Press story.

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