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Dave Johnson Power Plant, Glenrock, Wyoming

The Dave Johnson Power Plant, located six miles from Glenrock, Wyoming, is a coal-fired power plant that generates 817 megawatts of power. It is a major coal-burning power plant in the Rockies, and it relies on four different generators to produce this huge amount of electricity.

Dave Johnson Power Plant is an older plant, with the first generator coming online in 1959. Even the newest unit began producing electricity in 1972. While this plant has been reliable, it is also beginning to show its age. In December of 1995, one of the steam lines ruptured. This terrible accident caused the deaths of two employees and also seriously burned another power plant worker.

Pollution from Coal

Although the Dave Johnson Power Plant uses the low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin, it is the source of very high amounts of dangerous pollutants. For just the 2006 data, pollution from this coal-fired electricity plant included:

  • 293 pounds of airborne chromium
  • 21,790 pounds of chromium into landfills
  • 7.7 million tons of carbon dioxide
  • 20,000 tons of sulfur dioxide
  • 16,457 tons of nitrogen oxide
  • 223 pounds of mercury

Asbestos in Coal-Fired Power Plants

Before the 1980s, asbestos was not regulated as an insulator. Thus, because it resists heat, flame, chemicals, and electricity, asbestos was a very popular material for early power plants. As the Dave Johnson Power Plant was constructed in the 1950s and finished before the asbestos ban, it may also contain asbestos. Sadly, while this plant as well as other coal-fired power plants age, they can release carcinogenic asbestos fibers into the air.

If you have lived near or worked in a power plant, you may have been exposed to these microscopic, dangerous asbestos fibers. Because only one moment of exposure is enough to cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers, you should talk to your doctor today about early cancer detection methods.

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