Luminant CAP Receives Site Updates and Emissions Report
Mine and power plant updates preceded presentation of the annual report on emissions to the Luminant Community Advisory Panel (LCAP) in October. Members learned that Dragline 80 is as close to FM 696 as it is ever expected to be. It is mining four seams of coal in the north end of the mine pit. After a routine maintenance outage, Dragline 79 will resume work on 4 seams of coal in the south end. Both are expected to work in that area for some time.
Sandow Power Plant Units 4 & 5 are operating reliably and ran well during the summer. Unit 5 set a record by running 154 days straight without a need to open the generator for unplanned maintenance. Unit 4 set a plant record for consecutive days of operation during June, July, and August. Though the record for most electricity demand on a single day in Texas was set last summer, a record was set this July for the most electricity generated in a single month, according to the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas.
Though electricity generation increased in 2011, power plant emissions were less than in 2009, the year Sandow 5 began operating. Scrubbers, selective catalytic reduction, and other controls have reduced emissions. Discussion revealed that 88% of the Toxics Release Inventory releases were to land in 2011 and the remainder to air. The land releases are bottom ash and fly ash that remain after burning coal. They are disposed in existing Alcoa landfills.
Three Oaks Mine did not have high enough levels of Toxics Release Inventory chemicals to require a report to EPA. The emissions the mine reports to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the air emissions inventory are primarily particulate matter from dieselfueled vehicles, and they were essentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011. Members learned that the mine is covered in the power plant’s Title V operating permit, the only lignite mine in the US to operate under this air permit.
For more information about LCAP, contact facilitator Diane Sheridan at 800-484-9212 code 4127 or DBSheridan@aol.com.
Lexington area residents are also welcome to contact CAP member Margaret Newman at 979- 773-4184.