WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice have announced an agreement with Alabama Power Company that will secure further reductions of harmful air pollutants, primarily sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), from three of the company’s coal-fired power plants in Alabama.
The proposed modifications, if entered by the court, will resolve the remaining claims in a long-running case that alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review program.
The pollution reductions will be achieved through operation of state-of-the-art pollution control devices, the conversion of four units from the use of coal to natural gas, and the retirement of three other units. Among other requirements, the company must meet specified emission rates. Alabama Power will also pay a $100,000 penalty and will spend at least $1.5 million on providing electrical charging infrastructure for electric airport service vehicles and passenger cars.
This settlement is part of EPA’s national enforcement initiative to control harmful emissions from large sources of pollution, which includes coal-fired power plants, under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirements.
“This action secures reductions of harmful air pollution at Alabama Power Company’s coal-fired power plants across the state,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This is important progress toward our commitment to cut emissions from the largest sources, and means cleaner air and improved public health for communities across Alabama.”