Ameren Requests Delay on Illinois Coal Pollution Standards

The recent announcement that the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants, long blamed for cardiovascular and respiratory disease in Pilsen and Little Village, will be closing by the end of 2014 per terms of an agreement with the City of Chicago and Midwest Generation is a victory for air quality and public health.  It is not, however, the end of concerns about pollution from coal in Illinois. Earlier this month, Ameren Corp asked Illinois for more time to meet the state’s emissions limits from the utility’s coal-fired power plants as weak power prices makes it uneconomic to pay the high cost of installing environmental controls.

Ameren asked the Illinois Pollution Control Board to extend the compliance dates for reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission to Dec. 31, 2020.

Ameren said it has spent more than $1 billion on pollution control equipment that satisfies the state’s S02 emissions limits until 2015 but noted those limits are significantly reduced on Jan. 1, 2015.

In February, Ameren announced the deceleration of its planned scrubber project at its 1,197-megawatt (MW) Newton coal-fired power plant, which would have satisfied the state’s 2015 SO2 standards.

“If the requested relief is not granted, we will have to seriously consider mothballing two of our three remaining unscrubbed energy centers on Jan. 1, 2015,” said Sullivan.

The issues relating to coal-burning power plants are examined in several Roosevelt University seminars, including SUST 210 The Sustainable Future and SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change. For more information on these or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email

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