Carbon Power Plant

Carbon Power Plant, also known as the Castle Gate Power Plant, is a double-unit, coal-fired power-generating station located at the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 191 on the bank of the Price River near Helper, Utah. The plant is owned and operated by PacifiCorp. It produces a total of 190 megawatts of electricity. Unit 1 went online in 1954, with an output of 75 megawatts, while Unit 2 went online in 1957, with an output of 113.6 megawatts. PacifiCorp is a large electric generation and distribution company that primarily operates in the northwest region of the United States. Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power are the distribution divisions of the company, while PacifiCorp Energy is the electric generation division. PacifiCorp itself is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. PacifiCorp Energy operates a total of 69 power plants in six states. PacifiCorp is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and PacifiCorp Energy is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The current incarnation of the company was formed in 1987 through a merger of Utah Power & Light Company and the previously existing PacifiCorp Company. As a coal-fueled power plant, Carbon Power Plant produces a significant amount of dangerous emissions. A toxic release study conducted of the pollutants released by the plant in 2002 showed that the following toxins were released in that year: Barium – 1,100 pounds in the air, 110 pounds in the water, and 110,000 pounds on land Lead – 114 pounds in the air and 4,241 pounds on land Mercury – 42 pounds in the air and 14.5 pounds on land Hydrochloric acid – 220,000 pounds in the air Hydrogen fluoride – 74,000 pounds in the air In addition to the preceding pollutants, another study conducted on air pollution shows that the plant emitted over 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2006. Another dangerous material that was used by the power plant before it was banned by the government is asbestos. Asbestos was almost always used by every major coal-fired power plant in the United States built before the 1980s. With Carbon Power Plant’s opening in the 1950s, it is highly likely this plant utilized asbestos as an insulator. Among the areas asbestos was frequently found in these plants was as insulation surrounding turbines, generators, boilers, pipes, gaskets and valves, in addition to being found in the actual facility walls, floors and ceilings. Though an effective insulator, this material also posed numerous health risks to employees that underwent unprotected, long term exposure. Among these illnesses were asbestosis and mesothelioma, two unique diseases resulting from the presence of asbestos fibers in one’s chest and stomach region. References: PacifiCorp Source Watch Utah Geological Survey