Under Controlled: How Federal Rules Could Curb Coal Plant Pollution
Strengthening and enforcing federal air quality standards could lead 64% of remaining coal plants to more stringently address harmful pollution from their facilities.
Burning coal exposes communities to deadly air pollution and toxic chemicals, creates smoggy skies that diminish our most beautiful views, and fuels the climate crisis. Every year, there are approximately 3,800 premature deaths from soot released by coal plants around the country, and millions more are expected to lose their lives to the impacts of global warming.
The Biden Administration has an opportunity to save lives, ensure the health of our communities, and address the worst impacts of the climate crisis–simply by strengthening and enforcing existing laws under the Clean Air Act!
In a new report, Under Controlled: How Federal Rules Could Curb Coal Plant Pollution, Sierra Club analyzes how strengthened and enforced Clean Air Act standards for ozone pollution, regional haze pollution, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and other toxic air pollutants could impact coal plants across the country.
- By strengthening and enforcing federal air quality standards, the owners of 64% of remaining coal plants would be required to more stringently address harmful pollution from their facilities.
- On average, coal-fired generating units without controls for nitrogen oxide (NOx) and/or controls for soot are twice as deadly as coal plants that are fully controlled. Units that lack controls for sulfur dioxide (SO2) are more than three times as deadly.
- Generating units impacted by the rules analyzed account for 66% of premature deaths from soot pollution, as well as 68% of SO2 emissions and 65% of NOx emissions.
- By generating capacity, over 50% of remaining coal units that lack one or more pollution controls, and 80% of units that are totally uncontrolled would face a decision point on retrofitting with pollution controls or retiring to comply with strengthened and enforced air quality standards.
Read the Full Report
Air pollution from coal plants can be reduced with a variety of readily available pollution control technologies. Learn which coal plants would be required to install or upgrade pollution controls, reduce emissions, or pursue retirements under strengthened and enforced air quality standards.Read the Full Report
Read the Summary for Policymakers and the Public
Here, read first-hand accounts from people living in communities affected by pollution from coal plants and the actions advocates are taking to reduce air pollution across the country.Read the Policymaker Summary