Coal’s Pollution

Let’s get smart about Plant Washington & Pollution

Plant Washington will pollute our air for decades

Annual emissions from Plant Washington, according to the pollution permit application filed by Power4Georgians, include:

  • 678 tons of soot particles, 40 percent of which would comprise fine soot that the EPA says, because of its microscopic size – less than one- seventh the width of an average human hair – can lodge deeply in the lungs, causing respiratory ailments
  • 1,896 tons sulfur dioxide, the main cause of acid rain
  • 1,836 tons of nitrogen oxides, which are a chief ingredient in the formation of dangerous ozone pollution
  • 110 tons of volatile organic compounds
  • 145 tons of sulfuric acid, the main cause of acid rain
  • 3,642 tons of carbon monoxide
  • 6.2 million tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the amount of global warming pollution emitted every year by 1 million cars.
  • 1,160 pounds of lead, a potent neurotoxin
  • 122 pounds of mercury. Mercury levels already are so high that the

Georgia Environmental Protection Division has issued fish consumption advisories for a number of lakes, rivers and streams,
including the Ogeechee, Oconee, Ohoopee and Appalachee rivers, Brier Creek and Clark Hill Lake. The EPD also has measured
mercury in those rivers in excess of state water quality standards.  Adding just 20 pounds of mercury annually to the Ogeechee River would make fish completely unsafe to eat.

Plant Washington will generate acres of toxic coal-ash wastecoal sludge

  • Plant Washington will generate between 500 and 570 acre-feet of coal combustion waste every year, enough to cover a football field with ash and sludge to the height of a 40-story building.
  • Coal combustion waste – including residue from scrubbers and filters – contains arsenic, lead, boron, selenium, cadmium, thallium, heavy metals and other toxic pollutants at levels that pose risks to human health.
  • In December 2008, a dam at a TVA coal-burning plant in Kingston, Tenn. failed and collapsed, spreading more than a billion gallons of toxic coal-ash sludge across 300 acres. The accident damaged or destroyed two dozen homes, and clean-up costs are estimated at up to $1.2 billion.
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