Kentucky Utilities To Spend Millions In Settlement To Resolve Clean Air Act Violations

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Kentucky Utilities Company will spend $57 million to install a sulfuric acid mist emission control system, replace a coal-fired boiler, and pay a civil penalty of $300,000 to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations (CAA) at the Ghent Station facility in Ghent, Ky.

The terms of the settlement requires Kentucky Utilities to adhere to more stringent and permanent emission limits and install a sulfuric acid mist pollution control system that will reduce sulfuric acid mist emissions by more than two-thirds (3.7 million pounds/year).  Kentucky Utilities will spend approximately $57 million dollars in injunctive relief to install the system and make other changes at the Ghent County facility.  These changes will reduce emissions of sulfuric acid mist in an area that ranks among the top 10% of environmental justice areas in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

"Reducing emissions of this pollutant is vital to protect the local environment and health of the residents of this community,” said Gwendolyn Keyes-Fleming, regional administrator for the EPA Southeast Office. “Reaching this settlement demonstrates EPA Administrator Lisa P. Ms. Jackson’s commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and bring people together to discuss environmental concerns.

As part of the settlement, the company has also agreed to spend $500,000 for an environmental mitigation project that will include the replacement of a coal-fired boiler with a geothermal heating and cooling system at an elementary school in the Kentucky Utilities service area.

The consent decree was lodged with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on Dec. 20, 2012, and will be subject to a 30-day public comment period.

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