WBEZ | Dominion http://www.wbez.org/tags/dominion Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en State Line coal-powered plant may shut down this week http://www.wbez.org/story/state-line-coal-powered-plant-may-shut-down-week-97608 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-25/RS5186_state line photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The State Line Generating Station is a hulking coal-fired power plant that sits just off Lake Michigan, along the Indiana-Illinois border. Even people who don’t know the structure’s name or its purpose may recall its most recognizable feature: the red and white building that towers close to the Chicago Skyway.</p><p>It’s produced power — and air pollution — for decades, but this could be its last week operating. State Line’s parent company, Dominion Energy, announced a year ago that it planned to shutter the plant, a decision that will put more than a hundred employees out of work. The plant received its last shipment of coal in December and when the coal runs out, so will its reason for being. Dominion spokesman Dan Genest says that could be any day now.</p><p>“We have made arrangements with our employees to keep as many of them who want to stay working at the station working through the end of June,” Genest said. “They will be there making sure the place is safe to shut down and that everything that needs to close the station safely is completed.”</p><p>State Line is one of three coal-fired power plants in the Chicago area that are set to close. The other two are Midwest Generation’s Fisk plant in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, which is slated to close by the end of the year; the other is the Crawford plant in Little Village, which will shut down by the end of 2014.</p><p>As far as State Line, Genest says, the company has no firm plans for the building or the property.</p><p>“We have a team of employees who is investigating that. They are looking at lots of different options: &nbsp;preserving the building, razing the building, everything in between,” Genest said.</p><p>The company says it’s closing State Line because it would cost millions to comply with new federal pollution rules. Those rules include prohibitions against a certain amount of air pollution traveling over into Illinois and potentially harming residents.</p><p>Although technically in Indiana, plant visitors must travel into the southeastern corner of Chicago before arriving at the entrance. The station is just a short distance from the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Calumet Park, and it’s close to homes in the Chicago's Southeast Side neighborhood.</p><p>Most of the plant’s exterior and some of its interior infrastructure date back to the late 1920s, a distinction that makes it one of the oldest and largest urban electrical stations in the United States. The building is on a list for National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmarks. A one-time owner was Commonwealth Edison.</p><p>In July 1998, a massive explosion and fire ripped through two of the plant’s four generators, injuring more than a dozen workers.</p><p>The city of Hammond is looking to redevelop the site, which sits just north of the Horseshoe Casino. Some have suggested that the building could somehow be cleared, making way for open green space.</p></p> Mon, 26 Mar 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/state-line-coal-powered-plant-may-shut-down-week-97608 State Line Energy closing http://www.wbez.org/story/state-line-energy-closing-86181 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-06/state line photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>State Line Energy plant is a hulking, red monster of a building that sits at the very northern tip of Hammond. The coal plant, which began operations in the 1950s, is also one of the first things you see when crossing the Chicago Skyway into Indiana.</p><p>Now, this fixture of the Chicago landscape is likely to shut down next year.</p><p>The reason is a mix of economics and environmental lawsuits. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, as well as environmental groups, have targeted the plant. The suits come alongside tougher federal emissions standards for several pollutants, including agents that cause smog. One set of new rules kicks in by 2015.</p><p>“Given that the price of (natural) gas is falling, we really can’t compete in the market,” says Dan Genest, spokesman for Dominion Energy, parent company of State Line Energy.</p><p>“That would require us to spend millions of dollars to achieve compliance by 2015. It does not make economic sense to spend that money for those controls at that station,” Genest said.</p><p>Genest said the plant could close by sometime next year or by June 1, 2014 at the latest.</p><p>“Our plans are to shut down in 2012. We will continue to operate the station as long as we could do so in compliance with environmental regulations, do it safely and make a profit,” Genest said. “As long as we are able to do that, we will run up until June 1, 2014.”</p><p>The plant’s probable shuttering is welcome news for groups like the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) of Chicago.</p><p>The NRDC has filed suit against State Line for its pollution emissions that contributes to overall poor air quality in Chicago and Northwest Indiana.</p><p>“That plant is really the poster child for a much larger problem with dirty coal plants in the region and around the nation. It is belching all kinds of pollutants we can easily control. It needed to either clean up or shut down. Shutting down is a very good option,” says NRDC attorney Ann Alexander.</p><p>The plant employs about 120 workers, with most represented by the United Steelworkers of America.</p><p>Those workers will be out of work, although some may land positions with Dominion’s other plants nationwide.</p><p>Genest says there are no plans to sell the plant. There’s also no word on what will happen to the facility or property once State Line is closed.</p><p><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 06 May 2011 20:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/state-line-energy-closing-86181