Contaminated Coal Waste
Coal Plants in Texas, Excluding Gasification Facilities
The seven conventional new conventional coal plants proposed to be built in Texas are projected by NRDC to generate 3,653,412 tons of contaminated coal waste, including 3,773 tons of toxic metals. Texas ranks 1st in waste production expected from new conventional coal plants, and 1st in toxic metals from those plants.
Texas ranks 1st in the country for contaminated coal waste, with 13,454,000 tons of waste reported to the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2005. The state also ranks 1st in toxic metals contaminating the waste, with 8,915 tons of toxic metals, based on NRDC estimates.
Statistics for Proposed Plants in Texas
|Plant||County||Estimated tons of coal waste||Estimated tons of toxic metals|
Another new or proposed plant, the Summit power plant, is designed to use coal gasification, a process that results in a solid waste with significantly lower environmental risk than conventional coal waste. While NRDC believes all coal waste must be federally regulated, because of the lower environmental risk, NRDC lists gasification plants separately from conventional coal plants.
Statistics for Existing Plants in Texas
|Plant||Owner (primary)||County||Tons of waste||Percent of waste disposed||Tons of toxic metals|
|Martin Lake||TXU Generation Co LP||Rusk||2,540,700||61.2%||1,903|
|Limestone (TEGE)||NRG Energy||Limestone||1,851,500||74.2%||1,145|
|Pirkey||Southwestern Electric Power Co||Harrison||1,499,400||95.3%||561|
|Monticello (TXUGEN)||TXU Generation Co LP||Titus||1,455,900||66.0%||1,076|
|San Miguel (SMIG)||San Miguel Electric Coop Inc||Atascosa||1,282,100||99.6%||308|
|Sandow 4 & 5||TXU Generation Co LP||Milam||907,800||80.8%||546|
|W A Parish||NRG Energy||Fort Bend||689,000||41.8%||634|
|Big Brown||TXU Generation Co LP||Freestone||655,900||51.2%||722|
|Twin Oaks Power One||PNM Altura||Robertson||456,000||49.3%||285|
|Fayette Power Project (LCRA)||Lower Colorado River Authority||Fayette||437,200||10.2%||275|
|Welsh (SWEP)||Southwestern Electric Power Co||Titus||217,000||24.8%||323|
|Tolk||Southwestern Public Service Co||Lamb||211,300||1.4%||212|
|Harrington||Southwestern Public Service Co||Potter||205,200||8.2%||220|
|J T Deely||CPS Energy||Bexar||195,300||2.1%||185|
|Sandow Station||Alcoa US||Milam||192,500||40.0%||No Data|
|J K Spruce||CPS Energy||Bexar||165,600||24.2%||136|
|Oklaunion||Public Service Co of Oklahoma||Wilbarger||146,000||26.7%||138|
|Gibbons Creek||Texas Municipal Power Agency||Grimes||104,500||2.4%||107|
|AES Deepwater||AES NUGs||Harris||81,000||0%||No Data|
|Odessa Ector Generating Station||PSEG Global||Ector||8,000||100.0%||No Data|
|Guadalupe Generating Station||PSEG Global||Guadalupe||7,300||100.0%||No Data|
Percent of waste disposed indicates the proportion of contaminated coal waste disposed of in landfills, ponds, or on- or off-site disposal facilities. For detailed information on how each plant reported its waste disposal in 2005, see the detailed data Excel spreadsheet.
Sources: permit applications for new plants, Energy Information Administration data, NRDC estimates. The most recent data available from the EIA is from 2005 and it is possible that operational changes at particular plants will have changed the yearly waste volumes and disposal methods. Click here for detailed glossary of terms and our methodology.
last revised 3/12/2009
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