Coal-fired electricity plant Kentucky Utilities agreed this week to spend over $135 million on new pollution controls after receiving a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations. The EPA says that this settlement marks the most stringent limit for nitrogen oxygen emissions ever imposed on a power plant by the government.
The new pollution controls will significantly improve air quality in Kentucky and downwind areas, cutting sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide levels by over 31,000 tons per year – that’s 90 percent below 2007 levels. In addition, the project will also cut particulate matter emissions by about 1,000 tons per year.
Kentucky Utilities has also agreed to fund a number of environmental projects to help mitigate the effects they’ve had on the environment in the past. The company will reportedly pay $1.8 million to a new compressed carbon storage project, $1 million to school bus retrofitting, and $200,000 to help restore nearby Mammoth Cave National Park.
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Kentucky Utilities provides electricity to over 500,000 homes in Kentucky and Virginia. Their settlement is subject to a month-long public comment period, and then will go to court again for final approval. More information about the settlement is available online here.