Environmental management is an integral part of our business strategy. In 2015 and beyond, we are integrating environmental management within our operational integrity program. A program aimed at optimizing all areas of our operation with a means to reduce safety incidents, environmental incidents, and business losses. Our environmental management is showing what it means to be a good environmental steward, neighbor and that TransAlta is committed to doing the right thing.
TransAlta Centralia Generation LLC
Since purchasing the Centralia Generating Facility in 2000, we’ve invested more than $500 million in the latest technology to make Centralia one of the cleanest and most efficient coal operations in the United States today. Today 99 percent of the particulate matter, 98 percent of the sulfur dioxides, and 50 percent of the nitrogen oxides are removed from our emissions.
We also recycle 90 percent of our by-products instead of sending them to a landfill. The fly ash is used to replace cement in concrete. Synthetic gypsum, a by-product of our sulfur dioxide scrubbers, is used to make wallboard.
As part of the agreement TransAlta negotiated with Washington State, TransAlta installed state-of-the-art controls for mercury emissions that became operational in January, 2012. These controls reduced mercury emissions by more than 50 percent and allowed us to meet all of the Environmental Protection Agency’s mercury capture standards ahead of the 2015 requirements.
In 2012 we installed selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at the plant that became operational in January, 2013.
The Centralia plant was selected the 2013 Power River Basin (“PRB”) Coal Users’ Group Plant of the Year for “doing it right”. Since its conversion in 2007 to PRB coal, Centralia has maintained a steady stream of improvements. A small example of improvements includes the installation of fogging, silo dust collection, hydro jets, soot blowers, and fire suppression systems. An emphasis on housekeeping—making sure the plant is clean throughout—was made a priority. Key to the recognition as Plant of the Year is an exemplary environmental and safety record, The plant has had no significant environmental events in the past several years, and the plant recently went an entire year without a safety or environmental reportable event—a first for a TransAlta coal plant.
TransAlta Centralia Mining LLC
At our Centralia mine site we are moving through phases of reclamation with our long-term reclamation plans to support a wide variety of land uses, including agriculture, industrial, woodlands, wildlife habitat and wetlands. Safely and responsibly TransAlta Centralia Mining is working to reclaim a total of 8,611 acres of disturbed mine lands. We have a qualified team on-site to continuously manage and monitor the land to meet compliance expectations.
The reclamation completed in 2014 has established the framework for a 217 acre lake. With a maximum depth of 117 feet and an average depth of 62 feet, this lake will provide a diverse ecological habitat for the acre. The lake is expected to reach full elevation by 2016 at which time fish passage will be possible with the neighboring stream. The lake will be home to fish, native and migrating birds, as well as other wildlife.
550 acres, 11 million cubic yards of overburden, 1 million cubic yards of topsoil have been moved and graded. In addition to the lake, the reclamation efforts are helping to establish an upland forest of Douglas fir and red alder. Terrace ditches and rock channel drains have been constructed in the forest areas, to stabilize surface soils and minimize erosion.
The Centralia Mine has been recognized with multiple awards from the federal government for its reclamation activities.
Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule Compliance Data and Information
This portion of the website is intended to satisfy the requirement under the CCR Rule (section 257.107) to maintain a publically accessible internet site (CCR site) containing the information specified in that section. The required information will be posted when it is accomplished and is available.
We are committed to providing information to our community about our facilities. For CCR Rule Compliance Data click TransAlta Centralia Mining LLC