Jefferson Heights Association

Groups want CPS Coal plant probed - SA Express-News 6/07/03

Activist(s), Friend(s), and Neighbor(s):

The following editorial is being passed along to you for your immediate consideration and for use as you deem necessary. I would ask you to continue to call, fax, write, e-mail, and/or visit your elected local, state, and federal officials about this serious issue(s) which effects us all!

Moreover, we must ask these officials to work to find some more cost effective but cleaner source of energy which complies with our local, state, and federal guidelines. If we do nothing then I would only assume things will worsen and we will continue to pay with our health resulting in higher insurance costs and sanctions eventually will come from the regulatory agencies.

I ask you again to join us and learn more about this important CPS issue but demand more disclosure of information from your utility company. I've provided several links for your perusal on this important issue(s). Is TERP-Texas Emissions Reduction Plan a real cure for our Emission problems?

I received a letter from Christine Todd Whitman with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D. C. stating, "we recently extended the public comment period to September 30, 2003, and thanking each of us for helping to shape EPA's National Agenda for the Environment and the Aging." Remember an informed individual is always a joy because this is a Public Health and Safety Issue!

Groups want CPS coal plant probed

By Christopher Anderson
San Antonio Express-News

Local residents and state environmental groups are asking the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to investigate more than 6,000 "opacity" violations at City Public Service's most productive power plant.

Opacity is an indicator of how much visible pollution, principally particulate matter and soot, is released from a smokestack. The violations, measured in six-minute intervals, occurred over the past five years at the utility's J.T. Deely coal-fired plant at Calaveras Lake.

CPS officials said they believe many of the violations, which all were reported by the utility as required, occurred when the plant was starting up or shutting down.

Edgar Sawyer, an environmental investigator for the state environmental agency's regional office in San Antonio, said federal and state regulations exempt violations that occur at such times.

The request for the state investigation is the latest chapter in a battle a number of environmental activists and neighborhood leaders are waging against San Antonio's coal-fired power plants.

In addition to Deely, CPS has another coal-burning plant at Calaveras known as the Spruce plant. The utility's city-appointed board will consider whether to seek a third coal-burning plant that also could be built at Calaveras Lake when it next meets on June 30.

Deely, CPS' oldest coal plant and its biggest polluter, has been at the center of the debate between the utility and those who favor renewable energy and natural gas over more polluting but less expensive coal.

Along with the South Texas Project nuclear plant near Bay City, San Antonio's coal plants produce much of the electricity used in Bexar County.

"That is our baseload," said Joe Fulton, CPS' director of research and environmental management.

Fulton said coal is abundant and inexpensive, helping keep local monthly electric bills relatively low.

"Shutting down one of the (coal) units would bring economic hardship to this community," he said.

Neil Carman, clean air program coordinator for the state chapter of the Sierra Club, said the groups opposed to Deely's permit renewal had researched only a little more than half of its environmental record in the past five years and that even more opacity violations were likely.

"Deely is putting out a lot more pollution than allowed under law," said Carman, who from 1980 to 1992 worked for the state as an air investigator. He said he is not aware of any other power plants in Texas with as many similar violations.

Fulton said CPS has promised to install additional equipment that will eliminate nearly all opacity problems at Deely by 2007 in the event that another coal plant is constructed at Calaveras Lake.

Even with a third coal plant at the lake, Futon said CPS plans to actually reduce at the complex the overall emissions of four types of pollutants that the Environmental Protection Agency is most concerned about: particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.


Charles English, President Jefferson Heights Association

TERP-Texas Emission Reduction Plan

Senate Committee on Natural Resources

April 15, 2003 [ AM - PM ] Chairman Armbrister moves SB 1235, TERP, and SB 1361 to PM. Click on the above hyper-link for the Senate Natural Resources Committee then make sure you go to April 15, 2003, 78th Legislature and click on PM for the testimony.

TERP-Transportation Environmental Research Program

TCEQ-Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TNRCC)

City Public Services Funds Braunig, Calaveras Lake Studies

Email us

CPS Environmental Safety Issue(s)

City Public Service
TERP-Texas Emission Reduction Plan
San Antonio''s Dirty Power Plant
Power Plant Pollution
Federal Clean Smokestacks Act
Emissions of Mercury by Plant
Bexar County Profile: Criteria Air Emissions
Natural Resources Defense Council
Dirtiest 100 Plants: CO2 and Excess NOx Emissions
The Lethal Loophole

Posted by ceenglish on 06/07/2003
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