Tell Duke Energy to Get Their Ash Out of Our Ohio River at the Gallagher Station

The R. Gallagher Generating Station is a 4-unit, 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant owned and operated by Duke Energy on the banks of the Ohio River southwest of the city of New Albany in Floyd County, Indiana. Construction of the Gallagher Station’s first 150-megawatt coal combustion unit broke ground in 1958. The fourth coal combustion unit at the Gallagher Station began operating in 1961 bringing the plant’s total electricity production capacity to 600 megawatts.
The Gallagher Station received national attention in 2006 reporting over 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 50,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) of air pollution in the already choked Louisville, KY region. The Environmental Integrity Project released a report, “Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants”, that ranked PSI Energy’s (Duke Energy) Gallagher Station as 1st in the “Top 50 Dirtiest Power Plants for SO2 By Emission Rate” based on 2006 reports. The Gallagher Station was branded a super-polluter and the dirtiest power plant in the United States, with just over 40 pounds of sulfur dioxide emissions to the air per megawatt-hour of electricity. Additionally, the Gallagher Station ranked 49th in the “Top 50 Polluting Power Plants for SO2 By Tons SO2 (2006).”
On December 22, 2009, the EPA announced the agency had reached a settlement with Duke Energy for New Source Review (NSR) violations of the Clean Air Act at Duke’s Gallagher plant. The settlement required Duke Energy to terminate coal combustion within Gallagher’s Units 1 and 3. Duke Energy had the choice to repower Gallagher’s Units 1 and 3 with natural gas or shut them down. Additionally, Duke Energy was required to install scrubbers at Gallagher’s Units 2 and 4, to meet a 86% reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions compared to the plant’s 2008 emissions. Duke agreed to a $1.75 million penalty and $6.25 million in expenditures on various environmental mitigation projects.
Another report in 2009 produced by the Institute of Southern Studies also evaluated EPA’s 2006 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and ranked the Gallagher Station as 91st out of the 100 “most polluting coal plants in the United States” for coal combustion waste (CCW) discharged and stored in surface impoundments. The report quantified the Gallagher Station released 260,183 pounds of coal combustion waste to surface impoundments in 2006. Duke Gallagher operates a primary coal ash pond and a secondary overflow impoundment in the floodplain of the Ohio River. The CCW impoundments at Gallagher do not have a liner installed under the coal ash to keep the toxic heavy metals found in coal ash from contaminating groundwater and the Ohio River.
In 2016 Duke Energy announced all 4 units at the Gallagher Station will end coal combustion operations by or before 2022. Within the next year, IDEM released Duke Energy’s proposed CCW impoundment closure and post-closure plans for the for public comment along with 6 other coal power plants around Indiana.
Duke Energy is currently proposing to shutter the Gallagher Station and permanently bury or “close-in-place” 10 million tons of coal combustion waste in the floodplain of the Ohio River in constant contact with groundwater that flows from and into the Ohio River. The Lower Ohio River Waterkeeper guided by state and national organizations is opposing Duke’s Gallagher Station CCW closure plan. We believe the closure-in-place of the Gallagher Station’s CCW impoundments will Below is a depository of relevant documents concerning Duke’s Gallagher Station CCW impoundment closure. Below is a depository of the most relevant and critical documents on Duke Gallagher and state and national CCW disposal issues. Please support LORW and stay tuned for new and additional information.