After more than a decade, settlement forces Alabama Power to cut pollution at three coal plants

Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas in Walker County, where Units 6 and 7 will be permanently retired as part of the settlement (© Nancy Pierce)

More than a decade after SELC joined EPA in filing suit against Alabama Power Company for failing to install appropriate pollution controls on units at five of its coal plants, the utility will now be forced to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants those plants emit.

Under an agreement between the utility, EPA and the Department of Justice, Alabama Power must permanently retire three coal units and convert four other coal units to natural gas. The agreement also requires that the remaining coal-fired units meet emissions standards, the utility will pay a $100,000 fine and must spend at least $1.5 million to install charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

SELC joined EPA’s case on behalf of our partner, the Alabama Environmental Council, to force Alabama Power to follow the law and close the loophole of grandfathered power plants. A District Court must approve the agreement before it is finalized.

"We hope this settlement will discourage utilities from attempting to cut corners on proper pollution controls, which are crucial in order to lessen the impacts from harmful emissions on human health and the environment,” said Keith Johnston, Managing Attorney of SELC’s Birmingham office.


Read more about SELC’s involvement in the case.

Read the Birmingham News’ story: Alabama Power agrees to shutter 3 coal-fired units, convert 4 others to natural gas in EPA deal
 

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