Area environmental groups want more info on Dynegy plans for coal plant

Jul 23, 2014

A collaboration of environmental groups is calling on elected officials to demand Dynegy disclose its intentions for a local coal-fired power plant.

The E.D. Edwards plant between Peoria and Pekin is part of five other power plants Dynegy purchased from Ameren. But before the purchase, Dynegy received permission from the state to delay installing pollution controls at the facilities.

Environmentalists are worried Dynegy won’t ever install the pollution controls at the Edwards facility because it’s the least profitable of the five plants. Kady McFadden is with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. She says the biggest concern is that Dynegy will shut down the plant, lock out its employees, and eliminate retiree benefits.

"That's not what we're looking for today. What we're looking for is a responsible transition plan that cleans up the decades of coal ash that have just been accumulating on an unlined coal ash pond next to the Illinois River, that makes sure that the workforce--their pension is in place, and or opportunities to transition to new positions or new fields in the area."

McFadden says communities can only have transition plans in place if Dynegy shares its intentions for the facility’s future.

The Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club released a report Wednesday highlighting the alleged risk posed by Dynegy’s coal-fired power plants on communities.  

A statement from the Edwards plant manager says Dynegy operates in compliance with state and federal emissions regulations, and invests in technology to further reduce emissions.  It also says the company is committed to the community.