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Washington State Embraces Coal-Free Future

At a formal ceremony in Centralia, Washington, today, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation which will phase-out the massive 1,400 megawatt TransAlta plant between 2020 and 2025.

Under the agreement, Canadian-based TransAlta, will provide $30 million to be invested in direct economic development and energy efficiency in the Centralia community, and an additional $25 million to be invested in clean energy technology development in Washington.

TransAlta has also agreed to install additional controls at the plant to reduce haze pollution in regional national parks and wilderness areas while it is working toward shutting down the coal-burning units.

Earthjustice’s Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act legal work was an integral part of the campaign to help bring TransAlta to the negotiating table.

“The further we dug into the pollution issues from TransAlta, the more we discovered that this old, dirty power plant was an Edsel. From the toxic sludge, toxic air, water pollution and the haze it belched into protected wilderness areas, this plant had become a huge problem for the state, including its most special places--national parks and wilderness areas. We are pleased that an arrangement has been reached that ultimately replaces this outdated old power with new investment in the families of Lewis county and cleaner energy for our state,” said Janette Brimmer of Earthjustice who represented the Sierra Club, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center in numerous regulatory and legal actions that helped bring TransAlta to the negotiating table.

Tags:  Air, Clean Air Act, Coal