On Tuesday, Talen Energy announced it would stop burning coal at three power plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The power plants—Brandon Shores and H.A. Wagner in Maryland and Montour in Pennsylvania—plan to cease coal-fired operations by the end of 2025, according to the energy company.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has long fought pollution coming from coal-fired power plants that makes its way into the Bay. Coal-fired power plants spew nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that falls to the ground and is then washed by rains into the Bay as nitrogen pollution. Once in the Bay, this pollution fuels harmful algal blooms that lead to dead zones inhospitable to marine life.
CBF Maryland Senior Scientist Doug Myers issued the following statement:
“There’s a definitive link between air pollution and water pollution. Ending coal burning at these power plants will prevent millions of pounds of nitrous oxide from entering the air and, as a result, reduce the nitrogen pollution that enters the Bay. This move will help states meet cleanup requirements as part of the 2025 Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
“We hope Talen Energy will continue to expand its clean energy portfolio and work to move away from sources other than coal that cause pollution, such as burning natural gas. Scientific studies have shown we must accelerate greenhouse gas reductions to prevent catastrophic environmental consequences. Reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants is a step in the right direction.”