John P. Madgett Station

The John P. Madgett Power Plant is a single-unit station located near Lacrosse, Wisconsin. At full capacity, the plant delivers 400 megawatts of electricity. The facility was constructed in the 1970s with a price tag of almost $180 million, and commenced operating in November of 1979. The station is owned by Dairyland Power Cooperative, which was established in 1947. Dairyland Power Cooperative was named for John P. Madgett, who was the CEO of DPC from the time it commenced operations until he passed away in 1978. Today, Dairyland Power Cooperative runs several different power facilities, including stations that operate with natural gas and landfill gas, one hydroelectric station, and one facility that is fueled by coal. Until recently, equipment that contained asbestos was common in most power plants. Asbestos is a toxic mineral substance. However, before its toxicity became known, it was frequently utilized in power generating facilities and other industries because of its superior insulation capacity and resistance to high temperatures. All types of power plants used insulation that contained asbestos, including steam-fueled stations, hydro-electric plants, coal-fueled facilities and nuclear power plants. They all required equipment such as boilers, steam pipes, turbines, generators and tanks, all of which contained products made with asbestos. When asbestos is disturbed or removed, fibers are released into the air and become tiny particles of dust. Many diseases can be attributed to inhalation of these miniscule fibers. Workers exposed to asbestos on a regular basis are at a high-risk of developing one its related conditions, as are family members in some cases. Since the 1940s, many workers have been exposed to asbestos toxins in power facilities as well as other industries, such as construction, mining, and milling. Firefighters, shipyard employees, demolitions experts, drywall removers, and those who work with automobiles are also at risk. Employees of power stations are at an extraordinary risk of contracting a disease called mesothelioma as well as other illnesses connected to the inhalation of asbestos particles, such as asbestosis and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a malignant lung disorder which is often fatal. The symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses do not usually manifest for two to five decades, making it difficult to identify these ailments early. Other asbestos-related illnesses include asbestosis and lung cancer. References: