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Power Plant On Illinois-Indiana State Line To Close

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UPDATED 05/06/11 10:17 a.m.

HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS/WBBM) – A power plant on the Illinois-Indiana state line is shutting down, in a move that will do away with a big pollution source.

The State Line Power Station, a coal-fired plant that sits between Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyway along the state line, is being closed by Virginia-based owner Dominion Resources following a federal complaint about pollution, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The company has determined it cannot operate the plant profitably once new emission rules take effect.

It will close no later than June 2014.

WBBM Newsradio 780 asked Dominion Resources spokesman Jim Norvelle what will happen to the employees at the power station.

“We operate a couple of other power stations in the Midwest, and certainly, if there are opportunities there, there may be some there too,” Norvelle said. “We want to make sure we accommodate and take care of those workers as well. I also know that we need them to continue to work at the power station through the end of 2012 at least, and perhaps all the way to June 1 of 2014.”

The Tribune reports the power plant was built by ComEd in the 1920s, and upgraded in the 1950s and ’60s. As it is, the power plant, which sits at the east end of 103rd Street, emits more lung-damaging nitrous oxide, as well as sulfur dioxide and mercury, than the other two former ComEd power plants in the city, the Tribune reported.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts says this was the case even under ComEd ownership.

Calls are mounting to shut down those other two power plants too. They are the Crawford station at 3501 S. Pulaski Rd., and the Fisk Generating Station at 1111 W. Cermak Rd.

The City Council is considering a bill that would clamp restrictions on emissions at the two plants. Sponsoring Ald. Joe Moore (49th) is planning on introducing a new version of the bill after Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel takes office the week after next, according to multiple published reports.

a href=”http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/04/20/gulf-oil-spill-protesters-charged-with-tresspassing/”>Last month, six protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing after climbing onto a coal pile at the Crawford plant. The protest was one of many timed nationally to mark the first anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since the State Line plant is just on the far side of the Indiana state line, Chicago has no jurisdiction over it.

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