Blount Generating Station
Blount Generating Station is located in Madison, Wisconsin and is a coal-powered station that produces electricity for the local community. As well as having the facility to burn coal, it also utilizes waste as a source of fuel, which includes plastic and paper. It is owned and operated by Madison Gas and Electric. It is one of the oldest power stations in the country, having been built in 1902. Its maximum capacity is 177.5 megawatts created with 5 different units, which makes it a small power station when compared to others around the country. The newest unit is Unit 7, which was built in 1961 and is also the most powerful. None of the original units built in 1902 still operate, while the oldest running unit has been built in 1953.
Environmentally, Blount Generating Station is considered a fair to large-sized polluter, when its small size is taken into account. Coal has been claimed by the EPA to be one of the worst types of fuel to burn in terms of its effect on the environment, as it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide into the atmosphere. There have been some efforts to stop this at Blount, though, with waste products often being burned instead of the usual coal, although coal still represents the major fuel used.
Madison Gas and Electric have also signed on to a charter with the Department of Natural Resources that aims to increase their environmental friendliness. The three areas that they are targeting are the reduction of solid waste, an improvement in air conditions and an attempt to preserve natural resources.
As with most power stations built before the late 1970s, Blount Generating Station likely faced significant issues when it came to the effects that asbestos had on their workforce. This is because asbestos was commonly used for its fire and electrical-resistant qualities when building new power plants. In the early days of plant construction, few details of the harmful effects of asbestos were widely known. Since the revelation of asbestos’ damaging properties, Blount Generating Station has complied with contemporary safeguarding regulations regarding the use of asbestos. However, former employees not yet exhibiting the symptoms of disease associated with asbestos exposure might still develop one of these conditions for years to come, as diseases related to exposure often lie dormant for decades.