Louisville Gas and Electric is facing a $65,000 fine for alleged violations at the company’s Cane Run Power Plant. This is the latest of several Notice of Violations the company has received for problems at the plant in the past two years.
The complaint cites 13 days in June where residents near the Cane Run plant reported objectionable odors…like rotten egg and sulfur smells. Several air pollution compliance officers, as well as LG&E Production Supervisor Mark Hussong, confirmed the smell. The culprit was stagnant water in one of the ponds the company uses to store ash.
LG&E spokeswoman Liz Pratt says the company doesn’t have an immediate response to the NOV; she says officials are reviewing the violation and will respond directly to the Air Pollution Control District by the end of the week.
Including this recent proposed penalty, LG&E has been fined a total of $124,000 since August, 2011. The company has paid $33,000 so far. Company officials are contesting several violations, and a settlement hasn’t been reached yet on the latest issues.
Here’s a timeline of the past two years of LG&E’s issues at Cane Run:
- August 2011: LG&E is fined $4,000 for fugitive coal ash dust.
- November 2011: LG&E is fined $26,000 for fugitive coal ash emissions, caused by an equipment malfunction.
- April 2012: LG&E and Metro Government settle the previous violations for $19,500, plus a $3,000 contribution to the city’s Air Quality Trust Fund. The company is also required to implement a compliance plan to control dust at the plant.
- July 2012: LG&E is fined $24,000 for more alleged coal ash violations at Cane Run, including both dust and odor complaints.
- April 2013: LG&E and Metro Government settle two violations from July 2012 for $10,500. The company is contesting the other six violations; if a settlement isn’t reached, the matter could go to an administrative hearing.
- June 2013: LG&E is fined $5,000 for allegedly letting coal ash leave the plant. This matter is still outstanding.
- July 2013: LG&E tells the Air Pollution Control District that it has taken numerous steps to control dust at Cane Run, including installing a screen and using dust suppressants.
- August 2013: LG&E is fined $65,000 for a nearly two week spate of days when odors allegedly left the Cane Run plant. This matter is still outstanding.
Neighborhood residents say coal ash from the plant has contaminated their homes, affecting their health and quality of life. LG&E is planning to shut down the coal-fired Cane Run plant in 2015, and replace it with natural gas generation.