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Study Says Coal Plants Cost Chicagoans Millions In Health Damages

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 20, 2010 5:40PM

2010_10_20_fisk.jpgThe Environmental Law and Policy Center released a study today showing the Fisk and Crawford coal plants in Pilsen and Little Village may have caused between $750 million and $1 billion in public health related damages since 2002. The plants, owned by Midwest Generation, operate on equipment built between 1958 and 1961 and skirt Federal Clean Air Act regulations since they were built before 1976. The report uses data culled from various sources such as a 2010 National Research Council study and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Illinois Power Plant Study.

According to the study the plants cause more than $127 million in 2010 dollars in health damages yearly, based on 2005 emissions. Particulate matter released into the air causes cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, heart attacks, premature death and more. A spokeswoman for Midwest Generation told WBEZ that there is no tie between the plants and public health, putting the blame on traffic instead. The ELPC supports the Chicago Clean Power ordinance, which would require Midwest Generation to reduce PM pollution within 4 years. Howard Learner, executive director for the ELPC said via press release “Soot and smog from Chicago coal plants is making us sick and costing us millions. Cleaning them up is the right thing to do for our health, our environment and our economy.”

Image Credit: swanksalot