Update: Plant to Close by December 15

By: WTAP News Email
By: WTAP News Email

Update: 5/19/2010 6:15 p.m.

Pollution violations are causing a local power plant to close its doors.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the closing of the Richard H. Gorsuch Plant, stating it's had a lack of pollution filters since at least 1991.

American Municipal Power (AMP) has agreed to close its coal-fired plant just a few miles south of Marietta by December 15th. It will also reduce staff after the summer peak.

According to the Associated Press, EPA officials say the power company will pay an $850,000 fine and spend $15 million on energy-saving initiatives for its customers.

One local environmentalist says AMP simply hasn't made the investment to bring the plant up to current standards.

"This is not a plant that they built on their own. It's something that they purchased and inherited the environmental liabilities. AMP Ohio is a very responsible generator including use of hydro-power and other renewables," Dr. Eric Fitch, director of environmental science at Marietta College, said.

Dr. Fitch says there should be a significant upgrade to the area's air quality once the plant closes.

AMP spokesperson Kent Carter says the employees union has been notified. He says there's a fully funded pension fund for plant retirees, and they'll be working with existing employees to make them aware of available job training and other resources.

The company supplies power to scores of communities in Ohio and neighboring states.

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- A power plant in southeast Ohio will shut down to settle a federal lawsuit alleging the coal-fired plant violated pollution standards for years.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department announced Tuesday that American Municipal Power has agreed to close its Richard H. Gorsuch plant near Marietta.

Officials say the Columbus-based power company also will pay an $850,000 fine and spend $15 million dollars on energy-saving initiatives for its customers.

The lawsuit said a lack of pollution filters at the plant resulted in Clean Air Violations since at least 1991.

Spokesman Kent Carson says American Municipal Power will comment on the settlement Wednesday afternoon.

The company supplies power to scores of communities in Ohio and neighboring states.

(Copyright 2010 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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