Henderson Power Supplier to Scrap Part of Pollution Controls Following Court Ruling

Aug 23, 2012

A western Kentucky utility says it’s withdrawing a pollution-control plan after an E.P.A rule was struck down in court this week. The Henderson-based Big Rivers Electric Cooperative says it will save customers about $225 million  by dropping the plan.

The announcement by Big Rivers comes after a federal appeals court this week scrapped a major EPA rule intended to cut long-distance pollution coming from power plants. The rule would have required power suppliers in so-called “upwind states” like Kentucky and Indiana to take steps to limit pollution that would drift across state lines.

In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Colombia said the E.P.A overstepped its legal boundaries when it implemented the new standards.

A Big Rivers spokesman says the cooperative still plans to move ahead with a separate plan to limit mercury and other toxic air contaminants, at an estimated cost of $58 million.

The Director of the Kentucky Division of Air Quality says he doubts Big Rivers will be the last utility to announce its changing pollution control plans in light of the recent court ruling.