Wed July 23, 2014
LG&E Fined Again for Odor Problems at Cane Run Power Plant
Louisville Gas and Electric has been fined again for issues at the company's Cane Run Power Station. This time, the problem stems from complaints of rotten egg and sulfur odors emanating from the plant in February.
According to the Notice of Violation issued June 26, the Air Pollution Control District has offered to settle the case for $3,000 in fines, plus remedial action.
Courier-Journal reporter Jim Bruggers reported on the fine yesterday, and noted:
At the time, LG&E and KU Energy spokeswoman Natasha Collins said that warm weather thawed a ditch near its coal-burning waste landfill, releasing hydrogen sulfide. She said crews started applying a chemical to neutralize odors then increased the application during a weekend as neighbors complained to the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.
This is only the latest fine in a long string stretching back to 2011, as people living near the power plant have frequently raised concerns about coal ash dust on their properties and foul odors. Here's a timeline:
- 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 contested the other six violations.
- June 2013: LG&E is fined $5,000 for allegedly letting coal ash leave the plant.
- 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.
- November 2013: LG&E and the APCD reach a proposed agreement for $113,250. The penalty covers outstanding violations from July 2012, June 2013 and August 2013.
Cane Run is scheduled to shut down its coal-burning units and convert to natural gas next year.