Big Rivers maintains a comprehensive and least-cost strategy towards environmental compliance. The organization complies with all existing environmental regulations and requirements, evaluates the implications of proposed legislation and regulation to our operations while developing compliance strategies to optimize our position using a cost-effective approach. Robeson directs a well experienced and engaged team to ensure that all appropriate areas of the company are focused on new environmental regulations.
Big Rivers has taken a proactive approach of being a good steward of our environment by already equipping 96% of our generating capacity with scrubbing technology, which removes 90% to 98% of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Our generating units are equipped with Low NOx Burners to remove nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions. Additionally, three of our generating units are currently equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology for further high-efficiency nitrogen oxide (NOx) removal.
Mercury Air Toxic Standards Rule (MATS)
Big Rivers is spending approximately $25,000,000 to add pollution control equipment to Big Rivers’ generating units in order to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule (MATS), which took effect in April 2015. Activated Carbon Injection and Dry Sorbent Injection equipment was installed at Green Units 1 and 2, along with Dry Sorbent equipment added to Wilson Station. These environmental expenditures allow Big Rivers to continue to operate its generating facilities and meet the standards set by the MATS rule.
Clean Power Plan (CPP)
The final rule for the Clean Power Plan was announced in the summer of 2015, requiring states to reduce CO2 emissions by 32% by 2030 from 2005 levels. The Big Rivers’ Environmental Services Department is currently evaluating the rule and its impact on our Member-Owners, while also working with the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet and other Kentucky power producers on compliance options for the state. As with many U.S. utilities, Big Rivers is concerned that compliance with the Clean Power Plan could lead to higher electricity prices and grid reliability issues.
Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG)
The final rule for Effluent Limitation Guidelines was released in September 2015 and will tighten controls on wastewater discharge from flue gas desulfurization, fly ash, bottom ash and other processes. Big Rivers is evaluating the regulations to decide the best route to compliance
Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR)
The final rule for the Coal Combustion Residuals was published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2015. The new rule establishes technical requirements for CCR landfills and surface impoundments under subtitle E of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Big Rivers started in 2015 implementing the new requirements, and each year for the next several years additional requirements under the law will be implemented. Click here for more information.