Monticello Steam Electric Station

Monticello Steam Electric Station is located in Titus County, Texas, just southwest of Mount Pleasant. It was opened in 1974 with just one unit operational; however, it has since added two more units, in 1975 and 1978. In total it generates 1,980 MWe of power, creating electricity by burning locally sourced lignite. It also regularly burns coal which is supplied from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. The Monticello station is currently owned by Luminant, which is a subsidiary of the Energy Future Holdings Corporation.

Environmentally, the Monticello Steam Electric Station is considered to be a large polluter within the area, as is a frequent criticism of most coal burning plants. There have been several calls from the Sierra Club demanding that this plant be shut down because it doesn’t meet the standards outlined in the Clean Air Act. The other two Luminant plants under scrutiny are the Big Brown plant and the Martin Lake Steam Station plant.

In addition to these claims made by the Sierra Club, a study carried out by the Clean Air Task Force also cast major doubts over the amount of effort being put in to restrict environmental damage done by the plant. In this study, the group analyzed the deaths and illnesses in the area that could be attributed to the presence of pollution from the plant. This alleged that there are on average 50 deaths per year due to emissions, as well as over 1,000 serious illnesses caused, which, according to the report, includes 860 cases of asthma and 75 heart attacks.

As with all power stations built during the era that the Monticello was erected, there are significant concerns regarding the possible use of asbestos in construction. The developers initially used asbestos as a way to protect facilities and workers from the heat produced by the plant, but in time it has become widely known that asbestos can lead to a variety of serious illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.  These diseases can manifest decades after exposure has ceased, so former workers at power plants like the Monticello Station may still be at risk.