Omaha Public Power District is under fire again and not because of problems at the Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant. The Sierra Club, the Clean Air Task Force and the Malcolm X Foundation are demanding that OPPD shut down their coal fired power plant in north Omaha claiming it is responsible for 14 deaths each year, 22 heart attacks and it causes 240 asthma attacks. OPPD Vice-President Tim Burke says that their coal fired plant operates within guidelines. He says emissions are checked by the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Douglas County Health Department.
Burke says the north Omaha coal plant is not used much at all. It is basically a reserve for high peak usage times and often isn’t in operation at all during the fall, winter and spring seasons. Burke says they will not be closing down the plant but usage will be reduced even more once the Ft. Calhoun facility us up and running.
The Ft. Calhoun plant has been closed for two years. Missouri River flooding and concerns by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission contributed to the delay in restarting that facility.
Burke says the EPA may soon change all requirements at all coal fired power plants and OPPD will be ready to comply with those regulations.