Coal Plant Demolition Cleanup
As power plants close, they leave behind a dirty legacy in the form of shuttered buildings, smokestacks, and coal ash, with toxic pollutants like heavy metals and carcinogens. Of the remaining 20 coal plants in Illinois, five have already closed, 12 have announced near-term retirement dates, and the rest are subject to emissions reductions and retirement dates in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). Shuttered power plants remain at Canton, Coffeen, Fisk, Havana, Hennepin, Hutsonville, Meredosia, and Oakwood. The power plants in Bartonville, Joppa, Romeoville, Edwards, and Waukegan are in the process of closing now.
The Power Plant Demolition Bill (HB2767) will provide increased notice and public hearings to communities in advance of a power plant demolition and require air quality monitoring, dust mitigation, emergency plans, and site cleanup plans when the demolition takes place. This is essential in the light of the disastrous demolitions of the Wood River coal plant in East Alton and the Crawford coal plant in the Pilson neighborhood in Chicago. Residents were not properly informed of the risks to their air and water and their concerns were not heard by industry or regulators.