Tanner’s Creek Generating Station
The Tanner’s Creek Generation Station is a power plant located on the Ohio River in southeast Indiana. It is one of two such power plants within a three-mile radius of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The other plant in the area is the Miami Fort Power Station, located on the south bank of the Ohio River. The closest city to the Tanner’s Creek Station is Petersburg, Kentucky, located just across the Ohio River. The Tanner’s Creek Station has an output of 1,000 megawatts of electricity and is one of two coal-fired plants on the Ohio River owned and operated by Indiana Michigan Power, a division of American Electric Power (AEP).
The Tanner’s Creek Generating Station has a total of four active electrical generators. Unit 1 began operating in 1951, with an output of 145 megawatts. Unit 2 was brought online the following year, in 1952. It is identical to Unit 1. In 1954, Unit 3 was put into operation. Unit 3 has the capacity to generate 205 megawatts, but it only produces 200 megawatts of electricity during the summer months. Unit 4 is the largest of the generators at the Tanner’s Creek Station. It began operating in 1964 and has an output of 500 megawatts.
American Electric Power, the owner of Tanner’s Creek, is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The company was first established in 1906 and is currently one of the largest producers of electricity in the United States. The total amount of electricity produced by AEP is 38,000 megawatts. The electricity is distributed through 39,000 miles of electrical lines. In addition to Indiana Michigan Power, other divisions of AEP include AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Kentucky Power, Southwestern Electric Power Company, Appalachian Power, and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.
Because the Tanner’s Creek Station is fueled by coal, it produces a significant amount of harmful emissions and pollution. According to a study conducted in 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency, the station ranked number 44 out of the 100 most polluting power plants in the United States. Another study listing the U.S. power plants producing the most sulfur dioxide ranked Tanner’s Creek as number 67. The total amounts of each pollutant generated by the plant in 2006 are as follows:
• 5.65 million tons of carbon dioxide
• 35,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide
• 8,000 tons of nitrogen oxide
• 230 pounds of mercury.
In addition to these pollutants, the Tanner’s Creek Station also produced nearly 820,000 pounds of solid coal waste. The use of asbestos in its construction also poses a risk to those employed inside the facility and their families. This natural mineral saw heavy usage before regulations in the 1970s exposed its carcinogenic nature and began banning its use. As an older facility, it is very likely Tanner’s Creek was constructed with this material, putting its employees at risk for years to come.