Tag Archives: Plant Scherer

Rivers bigger and more important that previously thought 2018-06-28

Rivers and streams cover more of the earth’s surface than previously thought, and likely interchange more CO2 and other gases with the atmosphere than previously thought. WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter found this paper.

George H. Allen and Tamlin M. Pavelsky, Science, 28 Jun 2018, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat0636 Global extent of rivers and streams,

Abstract

The turbulent surfaces of rivers and streams are natural hotspots of biogeochemical exchange with the atmosphere. At the global scale, the total river-atmosphere flux of trace gasses such as CO2 depends on the proportion of Earth’s surface that is covered by the fluvial network, yet the total surface area of rivers and streams is poorly constrained. We used a global database of planform river hydromorphology and a statistical approach to show that global river and stream surface area at mean annual discharge is 773,000 ± 79,000 km2 (0.58 ± 0.06%) of Earth’s non-glaciated land surface, an area 44 ± 15% larger than previous spatial estimates. We found that rivers and streams likely play a greater role in controlling land-atmosphere fluxes than currently represented in global carbon budgets.

Fig. 1. Global River Widths from Landsat (GRWL) Database, Figure
Fig. 1. The Global River Widths from Landsat (GRWL) Database contains more than 58 million measurements of planform river geometry. The line plot on the right shows observed river coverage as a percentage of land area by latitude, and the bottom insets show GRWL at increasing zoom. The rightmost inset shows GRWL orthogonals over which river width was calculated, with only every eighth orthogonal shown for clarity.

You can see the lower Suwannee River in the above figure.

The authors zoom in on the Amazon River Basin in Brazil, but those last two zooms could easily be Continue reading

GA coal ash committee might consider more safeguards

Georgia Power (and Florida Power & Light and Jacksonville Electric Authority) created the coal ash; they can find ways to dispose of it safely on their own land. And if FPL is shutting down coal plants, how about shutting down its Unit 4 at Plant Scherer, which sends mercury into our Alapaha River. FPL bought into that unit decades ago with the same excuses it’s using for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline now: shutting down a different generating plant, and alleged (now admitted false) need for more electricity.

Georgia Power coal ash pond at Plant Scherer
The Georgia Power coal ash pond at Plant Scherer, seen here in this undated company photo, will be closed over the next three years. Fabian, Liz – Macon Special to The [Macon] Telegraph

Kristina Torres, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, More safeguards could be considered for coal ash ponds in Georgia, Continue reading

Video: Will you lead to sun and wind power? —John S. Quarterman to Tom Fanning, CEO, at Southern Company stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Update 2017-07-28: See also VDT op-ed and letter to GA-PSC.

Five years ago I asked Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning what was his exit plan when the Big Bets on Kemper Coal in Mississippi and the two new Plant Vogtle nuclear units on the Savannah River go bad. This Wednesday SO stopped using coal at Kemper Coal after the MS PSC refused to authorize further cost overruns. Thursday GA PSC staff said Plant Vogtle is no longer economical. It is time for GA PSC to do for Plant Vogtle what MS PSC did for Kemper Coal.

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

As Suwannee Riverkeeper at this year’s meeting in May, I told Fanning we don’t want SO’s coal ash in any landfill on any river in the Suwannee River Basin; I asked him for solar panels at Moody Air Force Base to shut down a natural gas pipeline; and I questioned SO’s acquisition of Pivotal LNG with its deal to ship liquid natural gas in bomb trucks down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida.

I reminded our genial host of my question five years ago, with the handwriting already on the wall since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had then just referred to Plant Vogtle as a financial quagmire. This time I asked Fanning to lead us all to sun and wind power.

In SO’s own video you can see them Continue reading

EPA coal plant emission limits still in place during legal cost review

Justice Scalia never said the EPA emissions rule was struck down, rather the Supreme Court sent it back to a lower court to get a cost analysis from EPA. 300x305 Mercury, in Improving Air Quality in Georgia, by Georgia Power, 30 June 2015 Meanwhile, many of the emissions controls are already in place on coal plants (including Plant Scherer), other coal plants have closed or are closing, and investors are abandoning coal in droves. So what Scalia wants may or may not be impossible for EPA to deliver, but EPA actually already has helped sink dirty coal. Meanwhile, Georgia Power finally is helping the sun rise on Georgia. So the prognosis is good for less mercury in the Alapaha River.

Emily Atkin, ThinkProgress Climate, 29 June 2015, What Everyone Is Getting Wrong About The Supreme Court’s Mercury Pollution Ruling, Continue reading

Supreme Court rules on cost against EPA coal plant emission limitations

The EPA should account for all costs before making a ruling on mercury or other coal plant emissions, according to a 5:4 majority of the Supreme Court. The dissenting minority points out not only are costs usually figured in during the follow-on process for specific limits, but that actual costs can’t even be computed without knowing those limits. So Coal Plant Scherer mercury in the Alapaha River can’t be limited without figuring all the costs first, says the SCOTUS majority, although EPA and the Court minority point to numerous well-known medical problems caused by mercury. Are profits for a few big utilities and coal companies more important than clean water and public health, especially now that there are cleaner, safer, faster-to-build, and less expensive renewable energy sources available in solar and wind power?

According to today’s SCOTUS ruling, Continue reading

Coal plant mercury in Alapaha River

Update 2015-04-28: See EPA 2002 report that spells out Plant Scherer as the largest mercury point source in the Alapaha Airshed.

Background to the EPA hearings on its proposed Clean Power Plan: EPA previously said nonpoint source pollution is the biggest water quality problem, and EPA and GA EPD say our Alapaha River is contaminated with mercury. That mercury comes from Plant Scherer, the country’s dirtiest coal plant.

The problem, effects, and cause are spelled out in these Comments on CAMR Draft, Language Options by Jill Johnson, Georgia Public Interest Research Group, April 6, 2006: Continue reading