TVA’s Paradise coal plant, one of the dirtiest in the world to shutter two units-Great health news for the Tri-State

November 14, 2013-by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor

Paradise 5-2-12


Tennessee Valley Authority’s Paradise power plant (near Central City, KY) spews huge levels of pollution every day it operates. This photo was taken on May 2, 2012. Studies show that pollution is harmful to health and indeed, causes cancer and premature death for some people exposed down wind. Today, TVA’s Board of Directors chose to shut down Units 1 and 2 of the polluting plant which should result in significant air quality improvements throughout the TriState. © BlairPhotoEVV

Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors today, gave an early Thanksgiving and Christmas gift to Tri-State citizens’ health by announcing they would shut down two of the three units at the plant and build a plant run on natural gas instead of coal to replace the closed units.

Together, the plants, which are to close when the construction of the gas plant(s) are completed generate 1,408 megawatts of electricity at capacity. Unit 3,  which is larger, has a current rated capacity of 1,150 megawatts and will continue to run on coal.

Interestingly, all three plants recently installed scrubbers which became operational in 2012 and even with that large investment TVA decided to quit chasing bad money with good money since they could not meet the new USEPA standards for toxic emissions like mercury and hydrogen sulfide gas. Those emissions in 2009, the last available at publishing time were 10,010,317 pounds.

In it’s “fact sheet” coupled with the closure announcement, TVA said, “In the end, building a gas plant was the best long-term decision when all the benefits and risks were weighed and presented the best option for cleaner generation, while providing more flexibility to quickly meet peak loads during the day and come offline quickly at night when loads drop significantly.”

TVA says they will invest well over $1 billion in the new gas units. The units it will replace were placed into service in 1963 making them fifty years old.

Just this week, a study by the Environmental Integrity Project revealed that the aquifers beneath the plant are contaminated with Arsenic, Boron, Cobalt, Manganese, Molybdenum and Sulfate at levels significantly above health based guidelines.

Valley Watch has kept a close eye on the Paradise plant and offered comments and testimony regarding their operation for the entire thirty-two years Valley Watch has been in existence. Valley Watch’s purpose is “to protect the Public Health and Environment of the lower Ohio River Valley.”

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5 Responses to TVA’s Paradise coal plant, one of the dirtiest in the world to shutter two units-Great health news for the Tri-State

  1. Bob Forston says:

    What a joke this site is. There has been Climate Change, Global Warming and Global Cooling since the beginning of time. There will be Change until the end of time!

    • John Blair says:

      Think what you want but the fact is that the National Academies of Science in all the industrial world disagree with you.

  2. Ladonna Posella says:

    Have any of the citizens with health problems in the area pushed for compensation for their health problems? My grandson was conceived and born in Owensboro, Ky in a nice condo on the Ohio river —1995 he was born. He lived in Owensboro and Philpot Ky until he was 13 then moved here in Indy—he is now 18 and has been diagnosed with a very rare brain disease called Rasmussen’s Encephalitis —-his father also worked at Commonwealth Aluminum on the river. They boated , swam and drank the water from the Ohio river. The doctors do not know what causes this brain disease –he has been to Chicago IL , Rush Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Clinic —this disease is known as Lupus of the brain–he will eventually loose his memory ,some speech and maybe loose sight in his left eye —the disease is on his left side of his brain. He may loose usage of his left side of body . This hits home about that awful power plant right across the river from Owensboro—it was always scary to me for them to bring that into the area . I was there when they built it —pollution was born the area —-we breathed that for many years. Thank you for your hard work on this very scary project —any info about all of this would be appreciated —

    • John Blair says:

      Ladonna-Valley Watch’s purpose is “to protect the [pub;iic health and environment of the lower Ohio River Valley.” That purpose was conceived due to issues like those your grandson has experienced. Sadly, the coal industry remains the force to be reckoned with in this region since they are so adept at paying off so many politicians who ultimately make the decisions as to what industry is welcome to the area. From time to time, we have seen dents in their armor but until people gain the courage to stand up and be vocal about the health issues that accompany the mining and burning of coal, we will continue down our path of being guinea pigs for the industry to do their morbid experiments on.

      • Ladonna Posella says:

        This reminds me of Erica Brockvish story —need to find one good attorney that would be willing to stand up to these giant corporations that put these horrible plants in smaller areas , pay off the politicians and they say it is perfectly safe —funny nobody else wanted them in their backyard . They promised high paying jobs to the area and got them—but along with horrible health problems for the whole community. Somebody has got to find a way to get the coal plant to help with the peoples health problems. The almighty big dollar was put in their pockets with all the profits —that never lived or worked in that area. Compensation should be made by them. I see where they closed the stacks down to make them more community friendly—-less toxins etc—-so what about the people that lived through all the years with all the toxins in the air and water?
        Just very sad !!

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