Coal Age

OCT 2015

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When in operation, Horizon produced an average of about 280,000 tons annually. It last had significant tonnage in 2012, when it ended the year at 210,096 tons. At its peak in 2011, it pro- duced a little more than 370,000 tons. Duke Energy to Reduce Emissions From Power Plants, Fund Projects The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with Duke Energy Corp. to resolve Clean Air Act violations at five coal-fired power plants across North Carolina. The settlement resolves long- standing claims that Duke violated the federal Clean Air Act by unlawfully modifying 13 coal-fired electricity generating units l ocated at the Allen, Buck, Cliffside, Dan River, and Riverbend plants, without obtaining air permits and installing and operating the required air pollution control technologies. Eleven of the 13 units have recently shut down, and under the settlement, those shutdowns become a permanent and enforce- able obligation. At the remaining two units, Duke must continu- ously operate pollution controls and meet interim emission limits before permanently retiring them. In addition, the settlement requires that Duke retire another unit at the Allen plant, spend a total of $4.4 million on environmental mitigation projects, and pay a civil penalty of $975,000. The United States is joined in the settle- ment by co-plaintiffs Environmental Defense, the North Carolina Sierra Club and Environment North Carolina. "This settlement brings five more power plants into compliance u nder EPA's national initiative to cut pollution from the country's l argest sources," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "After many years, we've secured a strong resolution, one that will help reduce asthma attacks and other serious illnesses for the people of North Carolina." "The settlement announced marks another milestone in our ongoing efforts to enforce the Clean Air Act and reduce air pollu- tion from coal-fired power plants," said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department's Environment and N atural Resources Division. "This settlement is a just and fair reso- lution to this long-running enforcement action in which we alleged that Duke modified these plants in ways that significantly increased their annual emissions. It is good news for the environ- ment and public health in North Carolina." The United States initially sued Duke in 2000, and trial was set to begin in October following years of pre-trial litigation, including a landmark 2007 Supreme Court decision agreeing with EPA's inter- pretation of the relevant Clean Air Act regulations modifications that increased the actual annual amount of pollution from a plant. Majority of Units in PJM Interconnection See Boost After Auctions Most of the coal-burning generation units owned by FirstEnergy Corp., American Electric Power Co. (AEP) and East Kentucky Power Cooperative in PJM Interconnection LLC got a welcomed boost after clearing the regional grid operator's recent base residual capacity auction and two subsequent transition capacity auctions. The generation units cleared the base residual auction for the 2018-2019 delivery year and the transition auctions for the 2016- 2017 and 2017-2018 delivery years. The outcome was especially good news for FirstEnergy's 2,233- megawatt Sammis plant in Stratton, Ohio. Sammis, located along the Ohio River and the Akron-based company's largest plant in Ohio, has been at risk for possible closing. The plant is part of the approximately 3,100 megawatts of coal and nuclear generation capacity the company is seeking to continue operating under a controversial power purchase agreement (PPA) pending before the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PPA also includes the 908-megawatt Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio and FirstEnergy's roughly 200-megawatt share of Ohio Valley Electric Corp.'s (OVEC) Kyger Creek and Clifty Creek coal plants in Ohio and Indiana, respectively. Together, Kyger Creek and Clifty Creek produce almost 2,400 megawatts of electricity. OVEC was formed in the 1950s to provide electricity to the old U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. A final PUC decision on the purchase plan is expected before the end of this year or in early 2016. Also clearing the PJM auction was FirstEnergy's largest plant, the 2,741-megawatt Bruce Mansfield facility in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. The company is pursuing the construction of a new coal ash disposal facility at Mansfield. A FirstEnergy spokesman said his company was pleased with the auction results, saying they "come closer to reflecting the true operating costs of our generating plants." PJM, based in Pennsylvania, includes 13 states and the District of Columbia. n e w s c o n t i n u e d C A L E N D A R O F E V E N T S November 9-13, 2015: Economic Evaluation and Investment Decision Methods, five-day course, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado. Contact: CSM SPAC; Email:; Tel: 303-279-5563; Web: www.csm- January 27-29, 2016: WVCA Mining Symposium, Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, West Virginia. Contact: Web: January 28-29, 2016: 16 th Coaltrans USA, The Four Seasons Miami, Miami, Florida. Contact: Web: January 31-February 3, 2016: 41 st Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique, Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact: ISEE; Email:; Web: February 21-24, 2016: SME Annual Conference and Expo, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona. Contact: Web: March 6-9, 2016: Prospectors and Developer Annual Conferece, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Contact: Web: March 21-24, 2016: National Western Mining Conference and Expo, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado. Contact: Web: April 11-17, 2016: bauma, Messe Munchen, Munich, Germany. Contact: Web: April 25-27, 2016: Coal Prep 2016, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky. Contact: Web: May 1-4, 2016: Canadian Institute of Mining, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Contact: Web: September 26-28, 2016: MINExpo INTERNATIONAL 2016, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact: Web: 14 October 2015

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