Tag Archives: Harvard School of Public Health

Tenaska Coal Plant Threatens to Dump 130 pounds of Mercury Every Year

Coal-fired power plants are one of the largest sources of pollution in our country. They emit thousands of pounds of toxic mercury pollution every year, but also arsenic, lead and acid gases.

Below is an excerpt from Joe Starkey’s article in the West Texas Tribune.  For the full article – click here.

How can you call CLEAN a plant that intends to dump 130 pounds of Mercury into our land per year? and tons of coal ash?

Please stop talking about the Tenaska Trailblazer plant as an economic boon to this region. Just looking at the mercury pollution from this plant shows how much it would cost us. A child living in the toxic footprint of a coal plant (yes Abilene and Sweetwater would be in the toxic footprint of the Trailblazer Plant) is 2% more likely to suffer from Autism. The cost per Autistic child to the community is estimated to be $3,200,000.00 over the lifetime of that child. Those figures are part of the findings in the first study to comprehensively survey and document the costs of autism to U.S. society. Michael Ganz , Assistant Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard School of Public Health, authored the study.

An increase of only one autistic child would eat up 7 years of water income from this plant. Current figures from Region 14 show almost 200 children being treated for Autism. A 2% increase per year over the next 50 years (projected life of this plant) would mean Abilene paying for an additional 300 children with autisim who would not have in the normal course of events been affected. This would cost us approximately TEN BILLION dollars over the life of the plant.

– Joe Starkey is a photojournalist for the West Texas Tribune. His parents home have their south fence as Tenaska’s north fence. His 200 acres, where he learned to fish, hunt and care for cows, is about 3 miles north of Tenaska.

Texans deserve better.  Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to come out with new rules to regulate Mercury across the country.  Stay tuned.

–Eva Hernandez, Field Organizing Manger, Beyond Coal Campaign