Heavy coal pollution at southern Indiana plant raises concerns, but I&M says they’re following the law

ROCKPORT, Ind. (WOWO):Indiana and Michigan Power Rockport plant dumped about 6 million pounds of toxic pollution into Indiana’s air, land and water in 2014 and has been dumping over 5 million pounds of toxic for years, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But, Melissa McHenry with I&M said that the Rockport plant meets state and federal environmental regulations — and it emits more pollution than other plants because it’s one of the largest coal-burning plants in the U.S.

The Sierra Club, an environmental lobbying group, said the plant has released more than 5 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Indiana’s air, land and water every year since 2005.

The Clean Air Task Force estimates the pollution from the plant contributes to 130 premature deaths, 200 heart attacks and 2,2000 asthma attacks every year.

The Sierra Club’s analysis shows the 2014 emissions from the Rockport plant was twice the amount of the combined toxic emissions from Allen, St. Joseph, Elkhart and Delaware counties, the four largest counties I&M provides service in.

McHenry said this data isn’t new and has been disclosed to the public for about two decades.

“(The) Rockport plant also is among the most efficient power plants in the world, which means it uses less coal, and has fewer emissions, for each kilowatt of electricity generated,” she said.

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