Spurlock Power Station Unit 4

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} Spurlock Power Station Unit 4 is a proposed coal plant in Maysville, Kentucky. [1]

The East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) is building a 278 MW coal plant at Spurlock Power Station in Maysville, Kentucky. The plant uses circulating fluidized bed technology and will burn high-sulfur bituminous coal from Kentucky. According to EKPC, the plant is currently under construction, and will be operational in April 2009. [2]

On August 15, 2006, the Sierra Club filed an administrative challenge against the plant’s Title V/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit. In their petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Sierra Club raised issues with both the new plant and illegal modifications made to existing units at Spurlock.[3]

Although the permit was affirmed on April 16, 2007, the EPA failed to respond to the Sierra Club’s petition in accordance with the 60-day deadline mandated by the Clean Air Act. On February 28, 2007, the Sierra Club filed a complaint against the EPA for violating the statutory deadline. In May 2007, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved the unit, along with the Smith Power Station Unit 1. On Aug. 31, the EPA partially agreed with the Sierra Club’s petition, and objected to the air pollution permit issued by the Kentucky Division of Air Quality permit; as a result of the ruling, construction can still go ahead, but the plant will have a limit on how much coal it can burn. [4]

On April 1, 2009, EKPC announced that Spurlock Unit #4 was completed and running. However, the plant has not yet obtained a 'maximum achievable control technology' (MACT) determination in order to comply with emissions limits. On April 21, 2009, the Sierra Club challenged EKPC's failure to obtain a MACT determination in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.[5]

On June 18, 2009, Judge Hood stayed the hearing until such time as the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Division for Air Quality decides upon the applicabillity of the MACT requirements to Spurlock 4. Spurlock 4 was not required to obtain a MACT determination at the time of permit issueance because of certain regulations that have been since overturned by court rulings. The current court action will be on hold until such time as the Commonwealth either issues a MACT determination, or determines that the permit need practically enforceable limits to preclude MACT.[citation needed]

Sierra Club reaches settlement with East Kentucky Power Cooperative

In November 2010, the Sierra Club and EKPC entered into an agreement under which the Sierra Club would drop its legal challenges against Spurlock 4 and EKPC would drop plans to build the Smith Station.[6]

Project Details

Sponsor: East Kentucky Power Collective (EKPC)
Location: Maysville, Kentucky
Capacity: 278 MW
Type: Circulating fluidized bed
Projected in service: 2009
Status: Operational


Citizen Groups



  1. “Tracking New Coal-Fired Power Plants,” National Energy Technology Lab, May 1, 2007, page 14. (Pdf)
  2. "PSC Approves EKPC’s Plans to Build Generating Units". EKPC News May 14, 2007. (Pdf)
  3. "Sierra Club Petition Results in Action Against EKPC Pollution Permit", The Ledger Independent, September 4, 2007.
  4. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed January 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  5. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed May 2009. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  6. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed January 2011.

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