F.B. Culley Generating Station

The F.B. Culley Power Plant, frequently called Culley Station, is a coal-fueled, electricity generating plant situated in the southeast corner of Indiana, in a town called Newburgh. Vectren Corporation owns and runs this Warwick county facility.

The procedures used at F.B. Culley are standard in the majority of U.S. coal-fired generating stations. During the process, coal is transported into underground feeds which place the coal onto spacious conveyor belts. The conveyors divide the coal into separate containers for each of the plant’s processing units. These coal containers feed the coal into table processors and lastly, into pulverizers, which crush the coal and then blow it into the boilers where combustion takes place. The boiler creates steam from the water inside its tubes and the steam turns the turbine which drives the generator, and the result is electricity.

In 1994, in order to adhere to mandatory environmental regulations, the Culley Station began using a flue gas desulphurization unit. In order to do this, the combustion chambers are injected with limestone. The desulphurization device now uses 140,000 tons of limestone annually, and gypsum is produced as a result, which is sold to the National Gypsum Company for use in drywall production. On September 1, 2003, the plant also began operating a selective catalytic reduction unit as well, which was installed to remove nitrogen dioxide and oxide from the plant’s exhaust output.

Prior to the 1980s, work sites such as the F.B. Culley Plant, as well as countless other power plants, mills and factories used asbestos due to the mineral’s insulating properties. The rationale behind the use of asbestos was for the protection of laborers in the plant. Unfortunately, a great number of workers became ill and some died as a result of exposure to the asbestos that was supposedly used for their protection.  Illness and deaths from asbestos exposure occur when the fibers are inhaled or ingested and bury themselves into the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavities. Once this has taken place, the fibers can damage the internal organs, causing diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma – a hard to treat, deadly form of lung cancer.

Currently, there are strict regulations regarding the use of protective equipment when one is handling or working with asbestos. However, before such regulations were in place, many individuals labored on job sites where asbestos dust filled the air. In addition, the fibers were carried home on the worker’s hair and clothes, which placed other members of the household at risk for asbestos-caused illnesses.



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency