2 August 2006 — The Illinois-based generating subsidiaries of Ameren Corp. and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration announced an agreement that will reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent beginning in 2009.
The proposal filed with the Illinois Pollution Control Board will also substantially reduce NOx emissions by 2012 and SO2 emissions by 2015 and presents an approach to multi-pollutant emission reduction.
Last winter, Gov. Blagojevich filed rules with the Illinois Pollution Control Board that would cut mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants by 90 percent by 2009. Illinois’ mercury rule will achieve more mercury reductions from power plants than any other state, and now, under the multi-pollutant plan announced today, sulfur dioxide emissions reductions from Ameren alone will exceed the entire reductions expected from the federal Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) for all Illinois power plants combined.
Under the plan, Ameren has agreed to do the following:
- Install mercury control equipment to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2009 at 94 percent of its plants in Illinois
- Dramatically reduce its emissions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide beyond federal requirements
- Agree not to trade emissions credits, which means that reductions in emissions are the result of actual pollution reductions in Illinois and not credits purchased from other states
- Agree not to switch from Illinois coal to coal from western states at its Duck Creek and Coffeen plants, as the company had been considering
- Install $1.6 billion in technology upgrades to its plants to help reduce harmful emissions
“We believe this agreement is a balanced solution that provides significant reductions of emissions as well as the best opportunity to preserve Illinois jobs at our generating plants,” says Thomas R. Voss, Ameren executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“Today’s agreement puts Illinois on track to be the national leader when it comes to reducing pollution and cleaning our air. Our agreement with Ameren not only means getting mercury out of our air and water, it means major reductions in other harmful pollutants as well,” said Blagojevich.
The proposal calls for new equipment to be installed at the Coffeen, Duck Creek, Edwards, Hutsonville, Meredosia and Newton Power Stations in Illinois, which are all owned by Ameren generation subsidiaries.
The commitment also includes installation of new equipment at the Electric Energy, Inc., plant in Joppa, Ill. Ameren subsidiaries own 80 percent of Electric Energy, Inc.