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Wed Apr 15, 2020, 08:26 AM

Louisville Coal Plant Partial Shutdown Plus Scrubbers Cut Asthma Admissions By 400 In Just 1 Year

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky—By taking advantage of a "natural experiment" brought on by the closure of one coal-fired power plant and the addition of new pollution controls at others in the area, health researchers have documented how lowering air pollution improves the lives of asthma patients.

Led by Columbia University's Joan A. Casey, an environmental health sciences professor, the team calculated a 55 percent reduction in the amount of lung-irritating pollutants in the air over Louisville beginning in the spring of 2015. The reduction came after the closure of Louisville Gas and Electric's Cane Run facility and the installation of sulfur dioxide scrubbers at its Mill Creek plant and another, separately owned plant in Rockport, Indiana.

The researchers found that there were nearly 400 fewer hospital admissions or emergency room visits for asthma attacks in Louisville in the year following the closure and the addition of pollution controls.

EDIT

When tougher air quality rules from the Obama administration went into effect prior to 2015, and cheaper natural gas began to displace dirty coal-burning nationwide, utilities invested in retrofits in the Louisville area and across the nation. "Air quality changed rapidly over a short period of time," Casey said. That allowed the researchers to make comparisons between groups of people suffering from asthma that were more or less exposed, before and after the changes, she said.

EDIT

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13042020/asthma-air-pollution-sulfur-dioxide-louisville-coal-power-plant

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Reply Louisville Coal Plant Partial Shutdown Plus Scrubbers Cut Asthma Admissions By 400 In Just 1 Year (Original post)
hatrack Apr 2020 OP
Finishline42 Apr 2020 #1
Vogon_Glory Apr 2020 #2
Finishline42 Apr 2020 #3

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Apr 15, 2020, 10:53 AM

1. 55% reduction

the team calculated a 55 percent reduction in the amount of lung-irritating pollutants in the air over Louisville beginning in the spring of 2015.

There's still a newer and larger coal fired plant West of the one that was converted to Natgas. It's called Mill Creek. Commissioned in the 70's.

There's a $900 million program to upgrade the pollution controls, but currently it's the #1 polluter in Jefferson county where Louisville is located.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Apr 15, 2020, 11:34 AM

2. Another reminder that fossil fuel is dirty fuel

Another reminder that fossil fuel is dirty fuel and that burning it not only increases greenhouse gas emissions but negatively affects people’s health.

I do not want to spread the solar versus nuclear quarrel to this thread, but this study reinforces the evidence that burning coal is dirty.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Apr 15, 2020, 06:11 PM

3. The reason LG&E closed the coal fired plant

They ran out of places to store the coal ash. If you drive by on Greenbelt Hwy it's piled 100 ft high on the banks of the Ohio River.

It was also a lot older and needed a lot of work to make it compliant to current pollution standards.

BTW, the Mill Creek power plant is about 10 miles due South.

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