2010-11-18 / General Stories

Luminant Gives CAP Updates and Emissions Report

Meeting for the first time since May, the Luminant Community Advisory Panel (LCAP) heard updates on Luminant power plant and mine operations, asked about issues of community interest, and received an annual report on emissions.

Luminant’s John Rice reported that the Selective Catalytic Reduction on Sandow Power Plant Unit 4 is reducing nitrogen oxide emissions as intended. A low-frequency noise from the new Unit 5 was corrected during an outage, but work is still underway to address a high-frequency noise. Unit 5 has been operating for a year now. A maintenance outage is scheduled for late October.

Jerry Poland, Mine Manager, said Three Oaks Mine is operating well. Questioned about the “big ditch” Dragline 79 is creating near FM 696, he explained it is pushing the former Small Willow Creek in front of it as it mines. Behind it, three new ponds will keep sediment from leaving the property. When reclaimed with native grasses, trees, and a gentler slope, the land will eventually be sold. Members taking a late October tour of Luminant’s Big Brown Mine in Fairfield will see completed reclamation similar to plans for Three Oaks.

Asked about water rights, Don Montgomery explained that San Antonio retained the water rights to the land Luminant purchased for Three Oaks Mine. The local groundwater conservation district determines whether to grant permits for use of groundwater.

The annual report showed an increase in emissions of criteria pollutants and Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), attributed to the startup of Unit 5 in the fall of 2009. 92% of the power plant TRI releases were to land in the form of dry ash, and 8% to the air. The releases to land totaled just short of 2 million pounds. Air emissions were roughly 181,000 pounds. 55% of the emissions inventory is sulfur dioxide, and 42% is carbon monoxide, both of which result from combustion of coal to make electricity.

The Luminant CAP will meet again on Monday, January 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Cameron. Visitors are welcome! For details, contact Bob Lee at 979/ 542-3006.

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