Pruitt EPA Should Deny New Utility Move to Weaken Federal Coal Ash Rule

Like last month’s stay on the water discharge rule, a potential stay on the Coal Ash Rule extends unconscionable risk for the people who live near coal ash pits, which can rupture or leak toxics into drinking water, while pandering to corporate utilities that have gotten away with dangerous waste handling for decades.

Pruitt EPA’s Water Pollution Delay Extends Uncertainty for Southeast Coal Plants

Since 1982, little has changed about the toxic pollution coal-fired power plants are allowed to dump in water, although change was on its way. Unfortunately, if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has his way, our waterways and our health will remain threatened by our nation’s leading source of toxic water pollution – coal fired power plants. We will have to keep on waiting for modern, updated protections and coal plant operators face continued uncertainty over their compliance obligations – uncertainty that may actually accelerate coal’s decline. In early May, Environmental groups challenged the legality Administrator Pruitt’s stay.

In the Southeast, many power plants’ operators were already preparing to meet new 2015 standards, which would go into effect in 2018, updating pollution control technology at their plants and working with state agencies to update state water discharge permits. The 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs), which represents the first update to these regulations since 1982, nearly eliminates dumping of ash-contaminated wastewater, and for the first time, limits the discharge of toxic heavy metals that come from removing toxics from the air pollution stream and trapping them in sludge as part of the wastewater stream.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? TVA’s So-Called Coal Ash “Solution”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to “clean up” 13.4 million tons of coal ash by capping it in place. Our new animation shows why cap in place is not a solution for unlined ash pits: it doesn’t keep ash separated from groundwater. Click the image on the left to watch the 30-second clip, and then [...]

First Government-Owned Plant “Off the Island:” Florida’s Coal Plant Reality Show Heats Up

Who will be voted off the island next? Florida’s dwindling cast of coal plant survivors just lost two stalwart characters, government-owned St. Johns River Power Park Units 1 and 2. While this definitely refutes the new administration’s hopes for a coal revival, we are optimistic that JEA is the first of several Florida government agencies to finally give up on wasteful coal plants.

Black History Month Energy Leaders Blog Series: Nathaniel Smith Boosts “Energy Equity” in the American South

Nathaniel Smith is founder and Chief Equity Officer (CEqO)of Atlanta-based Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE). SACE worked with PSE to initiate the Just Energy Circle in 2012 and remains an active partner, most recently helping put on the first annual Just Energy Summit. I sat down with Mr. Smith to learn more about the work he dubbed “energy equity” early on.

How Solar Could Help Replace Coal in Central Florida

Lakeland, FL leaders now acknowledge that retiring the McIntosh 3 coal-fired power generator is a question of when, not if. Lakeland Electric, which operates the 364MW plant and co-owns it with Orlando Utilities Commission, is poised to lead Florida utilities away from coal and toward cleaner energy choices, but thus far is hesitating. Solar energy, combined with gas or with cutting edge batteries, could shift the balance for this forward-thinking utility.

How to Send a Holiday Gift to the Front Lines of Climate Change

Over the holidays, many folks look to expand their generosity beyond immediate family and friends and even favorite nonprofits by sponsoring gifts for a child or family. This year, we have a special invitation: A Front Line Holiday. Several community groups have compiled holiday wish lists via Amazon, which we’re sharing below along with brief background on each group provided by its members.

Alabama PSC limits public words on energy mix… draw them a picture instead

As in years past, the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) severely limited discussion of Alabama Power’s choices about its mix of energy sources at the one and only opportunity for public discussion it holds each year. Now you can show and tell the people who make decisions about our energy future what sources of energy you would like to see with a new online tool. PicMyEnergyMix Alabama will send a picture of the energy mix you want straight to the Alabama PSC.

Public window into Florida utility planning opens, shuts

While Floridians await a Public Service Commission (PSC) ruling later this year on a 24% rate hike for Florida Power & Light, the Commission is also considering another matter: acceptance of Ten Year Site Plans from the largest state utilities. The Ten Year Site Plan is a summary of Florida’s largest power companies’ resource plans for the next ten years. This year’s Site Plans rely on continuing to run old coal plants and building more natural gas fired power.

Will EPD cut Plant Washington slack – again – or finally cut it loose?

The saga of one of the last two proposed new conventional coal-fired power plants in the nation continued to approach its inevitable end this spring, as the air quality permit’s deadline to commence construction passed with no shovels in sight, and plant developer Power4Georgians (P4G) requested yet another extension.

If the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) denies the extension, it could be the end of a long, long road that wasn’t wise to go down in the first place. And it would prevent any further waste of scarce agency resources.