Panel hears report on Luminant emissions

Mine and power plant updates preceded presentation of the annual report on emissions to the Luminant Community Advisory Panel (LCAP) in October, according to Diane Sheridan, facilitator.

LCAP members learned that Dragline 80 is as close to FM 696 as it is ever expected to be and is mining four seams of coal in the north end of the mine pit, she said.

After a routine maintenance outage, Dragline 79 will resume work on 4 seams of coal in the south end. Both are expected to work in that area for some time, she said.

Luminant reported Sandow Power Plant Units 4 and 5 are operating reliably and “ran well” during the summer. Unit 5 set a record by running 154 days straight without a need to open the generator for unplanned maintenance, while Unit 4 set a plant record for consecutive days of operation during June, July, and August.

Though electricity generation increased in 2011, power plant emissions were less than in 2009, the year Sandow 5 began operating. Scrubbers, selective catalytic reduction, and other controls have reduced emissions.

Discussion revealed that 88% of the Toxics Release Inventory releases were to land in 2011 and the remainder to air. Land releases are bottom ash and fly ash that remain after burning coal. They are disposed in existing Alcoa landfills.

Luminant reported Three Oaks Mine did not have high enough levels of Toxics Release Inventory chemicals to require a report to EPA. Emissions the mine reports to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the air emissions inventory are primarily particulate matter from diesel-fueled vehicles, and were essentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011.

Members learned that the mine is covered in the power plant’s Title V operating permit, the only lignite mine in the U.S. to operate under this air permit, Sheridan said.

For more information about LCAP, contact Sheridan at 800-484-9212, code 4127, or

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