- Associated Press - Saturday, February 6, 2016

ROCKPORT, Ind. (AP) - The Sierra Club is targeting a southern Indiana power plant in its campaign to close aging, coal-fired stations.

The environmental group said it has collected more than 1,000 signatures from Indiana Michigan Power customers urging the utility to replace half of the power generation at its Rockport plant with renewable energy sources.

In its campaign, the Sierra Club points to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently released Toxic Release Inventory report, which determined that the plant released more than 5.9 million pounds of toxic pollution in 2014.

The plant on the Ohio River about 25 miles east of Evansville released more toxic pollution in 2014 than Elkhart, Allen, St. Joseph and Delaware counties combined, the Sierra Club said in a statement.

But the EPA report is misleading because more than half of the 5.9 million pounds were from ash generated by burning coal, Indiana Michigan spokeswoman Melissa McHenry told the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/209ny1C ). The emissions are large because of the amount of power generated by the Rockport plant, she said.

The company plans to install new technology to control sulfur dioxide from the plant, McHenry said.

She said the utility is in the process of building four large solar generation projects in Indiana and Michigan, including two in St. Joseph County and one in Grant County, Indiana.

The company also has filed a plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to add another 600 megawatts of large-scale solar power generation, 1,350 megawatts of wind power generation and 1,253 megawatts of natural gas generation over the next 20 years, McHenry said.

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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