AMP to Retire Gorsuch Coal Plant to Settle CAA Issues
American Municipal Power (AMP), an Ohio non-profit utility, will permanently retire its Richard H. Gorsuch Station coal-fired power plant near Marietta under a settlement to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on May 18. As part of the settlement, AMP will also spend $15 million on an environmental mitigation project and pay a civil penalty of $850,000.
"Today’s settlement substantially reduces harmful air pollution from coal-fired power plants and requires a large-scale energy efficiency program within the AMP community," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
The agreement resolves violations of the Clean Air Act’s new source review requirements at the company’s Gorsuch Station, which has a sulfur dioxide emission rate in the highest 3 percent of coal-fired utility sources in the country.
AMP will permanently retire the Gorsuch Station by Dec. 31, 2012, and implement interim sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emission limits until that date. AMP made a business decision that shutting down the plant and providing for replacement energy was its preferred option for bringing the plant into compliance. AMP will enhance pollution controls to reduce particulate matter emissions. The mitigation project will provide energy efficiency services in lighting, refrigerator replacement and removal, and installation of building heating and cooling systems to all of the municipalities and their customers served by the Gorsuch Station. The energy efficiency services are designed to achieve a minimum reduction of 70,000 megawatt hours, equivalent to the electricity use of more than 6,000 homes for one year.
The Gorsuch plant is located in the Chesapeake Bay airshed, and AMP's commitment to retire the plant will eliminate nitrogen oxide emissions in that area by approximately 3,160 tons per year.
AMP, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a nonprofit organization that provides generation, transmission, and distribution of wholesale electric power to municipal electric systems. AMP is made up of 129 member municipal communities in five states. This settlement applies to the Gorsuch Station, which consists of four 53 megawatt boilers.