Wed November 20, 2013
LG&E to Pay $113,000 Settlement for Cane Run Odor, Dust Violations
Louisville Gas & Electric is set to pay more than $113,000 to the Air Pollution Control District for outstanding dust and odor violations at the company’s Cane Run Power Station.
The APCD board unanimously approved the settlement at a public forum on Wednesday.
LG&E proposed the settlement to cover fines that date back to early 2012.
The violations and fines stem from poorly maintained coal ash and odor from the plant that has plagued the nearby Cane Run neighborhood.
LG&E officials do not agree with all of the imposed violations, but they look forward to moving forward, said Chris Whelan, vice president of communications for the company.
“It’s not about the fines, it is about trying to be a good neighbor,” Whelan said.
Cane Run resident, Kathy Little, said the fines are a good way to call out company officials for environmental wrong-doings, but do not protect the children of the neighborhood from harmful pollution.
“Even though APCD has cited and fined LG&E, we need more. We need better enforcement,” she said. “Our kids are going to pay the ultimate price.”
Little lives across the street from the plant and said she can see evidence of the pollution. It coats her house, her car and she can smell it in the air.
“It’s only fair to believe that my child is breathing it,” she said.
LG&E officials said they have spent more than $1.5 million to improve the plant’s ability to control dust and odor. Whelan said the Cane Run plant is scheduled to be shut down in 2015 and the new plant will be cleaner and more dependent on natural gases.
She said the company is “doing what they can” to clean up their coal use and meet all EPA standards.
WFPL reporter, Erica Peterson, previously covered the extensive violations incurred by the Cane Run plant. Here's a timeline she compiled 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 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.