Cardinal Power Plant, Brilliant, Ohio
Cardinal Power Plant is a three-unit coal-burning plant located in Brilliant, Ohio. It is operated by American Electric Power (AEP), and jointly owned by AEP and Buckeye Power, Inc. The plant began operations in 1967 and was expanded in 1977.
Like many coal-burning plants, Cardinal Power Station has drawn criticism from groups and individuals concerned about the pollution it releases into the environment. In 2004, activists from the environmentalist group Greenpeace protested the amount of pollution generated by the plant. In 2009, a study by the Institute of Southern Studies that ranked US coal-burning plants by the pollution they generate ranked Cardinal Power Plant number 24 out of 100.
Cardinal Power Plant and Environmental Concerns
Coal is considered to be one of the least “clean” sources of energy. When it is burned, a variety of pollutants can be released into the air, and may contaminate nearby soil and water supplies. Some of the potentially dangerous emissions that are associated with coal-burning plants include:
- Fly ash, a solid by-product of burning coal that is often collected and stockpiled to prevent it from polluting the air or local water supplies
- Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, which are believed to contribute to the problem of global climate change
- Mercury and arsenic, which can build up in water and soil
In addition to the pollutants emitted by coal-burning plants, the plants themselves may contain dangerous materials. For example, prior to 1987, many power plants of all kinds contained asbestos in safety equipment, insulation, cement, and other materials. Anyone who has worked in or lived near an older plant may be at risk for asbestos-related conditions, which include lung cancer and mesothelioma.