Little Gypsy Power Plant
The Little Gypsy Power Plant is fired by natural gas and produces electricity in La Place, Louisiana. The facility uses 3 generating units capable of producing 545, 415, and 238 megawatts respectively. The plant came into the spotlight in 2007 when a massive conversion was proposed by its owner that would allow coal burning in the plant rather than the natural gas it had been using as its source of fuel. The project received considerable opposition from environmental agencies as well as local residents. The conversion would have resulted in allowing the plant to start burning coal and petroleum coke through the use of circulating fluidized bed technology. The project was fought from the standpoint that it would create price increases that would have the potential to last for over 20 years. Nevertheless, the project was approved in 2007. In 2008, the Sierra Club notified Entergy that it was planning to sue under the Clean Air Act because the plant exceeded the maximum allowance for arsenic, lead and mercury, emissions which forced a delay in the facility's repowering project. In June 2008, the Sierra Club filed suit in state court and challenged the approval given to Entergy by the Louisiana Public Service Commission to revamp the Little Gypsy plant. In April 2009, Entergy announced that it would delay the project for a minimum of three years. The decision was partly based on significant uncertainties regarding the project's economics, and it is not likely that the project will resume. The Little Gypsy Power Plant was one of countless work sites such as power plants, mills and factories that might have used asbestos in the past due to its flame resistant abilities. While the strength of asbestos as an insulator provided good protection property, its long term health consequences were catastrophic. Many who were exposed to the substance contracted mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis. Currently, there is a broad awareness of the risks associated with inhaling or ingesting the fibers of asbestos and state and federal regulations offer protection for those who work near or with the harmful substance. However, as recent as the early 1980s, employees worked in clouds of asbestos dust with no personal protective gear and also carried the fibers home to their families on their hair and clothes. References:
- Mowbray, Rebecca. (February 11, 2009). “Report says Little Gypsy plant will cost ratepayers too much.” Retrieved March 23, 2011 from The Times-Picayune.