Cardinal Station

Cardinal Station is a coal burning power station located near the town of Brilliant, Ohio, which is in Jefferson County and adjacent to the Ohio River. This means that the power station is in the middle of mainly rural land, with only a small population residing near it. Additionally, for those who do live in the area, the power plant is one of the main sources of employment, due to the fact that the steel industry in the area has declined sharply since the 1980s. In total there are three units in operation today, with one owned by American Electric Power and the other two owned by Buckeye Power. In total these units have a capacity of 1830 megawatts; the largest of these is Unit 3, one of the units owned by Buckeye.

As with many coal powered power plants, the Cardinal Station has attracted a fair amount of criticism for the amount of pollutants that this form of energy production may produce. The area around it was once reputed to have the dirtiest air in the whole of the United States, although research conducted by a British team of environmentalists has concluded that the air has since become significantly cleaner in the area. To further combat the effects of pollution, a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction system was installed in 1998, which reduces any nitrogen oxide produced by the plant. Additionally, scrubbers were later installed to reduce the emission of sulfur oxide.

As with most power plants built last century, Cardinal Station was likely constructed using asbestos as one of the building materials. This was due to its resistance to heat, which was seen as imperative to protecting the facilities and workers at the plant. Since then the presence of asbestos has been seen to have incredibly detrimental effects to the health of those that breathe its particles, often leading to illnesses such as asbestosis and cancer.

Since the public has become aware of the effects of asbestos, the Cardinal Station is now in compliance with contemporary safety standards regarding asbestos. This means that the station now prevents its employees and staff from inhaling the harmful dust or fumes containing asbestos particles, either by having replaced the material or demanding proper safety gear be used.  However, these measures may come too late for those that worked in power plants during the years in which asbestos was in heavy use.


Firelands Electric Cooperative

Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative, Inc.

U.S. Department of Energy