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The Environmental Protection Agency says "32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close" and another 36 may close when its new rules for air pollution and mercury take effect in 2014. Communities in the Midwest and in coal states like Virginia and West Virginia will see the greatest effects from the rules, Vicki Smith and Larry O'Dell of The Associated Press report. (AP photo by Paul Foy)

Glen Lyn, Va., population 200, will see a quarter of its revenue disappear when its American Electric Powerplant closes, Smith and O'Dell report. "If the town lost all of that revenue," Town Manager Howard Spencer told AP, "we would struggle to even continue to be incorporated." The closure would also mean the loss of the remaining 44 jobs in this plant in a community where a stable well-paying job is hard to find. Anticipating the closure, many workers have already transferred to other plants or are making plans to retire.

AEP's Kammer Plant near Moundsville, W.Va., will also close with the new regulations. It is outside the city limits so will not have a direct impact on the city's revenue, but City Manager Allen Hendershot says it will have a trickle-down effect on other businesses in the community. "It's hard to put an exact number on it," he told AP. "It's the coal-mine jobs, the trucking jobs, the maintenance jobs." (Read more)

Written by Deloris Foxworth

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced $1.5 million in multi-county coal severance funding to benefit Union College’s Nursing and Health Sciences Program.

Knox and Bell counties are receiving $1.5 million in Multi-County Local Government Economic Development Funds (LGEDF)/Coal Severance Funds to help renovate the former Knox County Hospital to serve as a new facility for Union College’s academic nursing and health science programs.

“Providing our students with quality learning environments and resources helps ensure that they are receiving the best education possible”, Beshear said in a press release from his office. “This new Union College academic facility will offer an excellent learning space for students and assist the institution in developing and growing quality educational programs.”

Union College will now use the rehabilitated facility as a center for academic programs including physics, chemistry, biology, health and human performance instruction and general classroom and lab space.

The addition of this facility will help accommodate Union College’s expanding Registered Nurse and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, which are expected to grow by 200 students within a five-year period. Union College’s current undergraduate yearly enrollment is approximately 700 students.

Additionally, Knox County will use a portion of the renovated building to develop space for community meetings, classes and training sessions for local residents and members of the surrounding counties.

From the KPA News Content Service

PSC YouTube Video Explains Environmental Surcharge on electricity rates;

The process the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) follows in the review and approval of coal-related environmental compliance costs incurred by electric utilities is explained in a video available online.

The narrated slide show covers the legal basis for the recovery of environmental costs, the PSC’s review process and the environmental surcharge through which the costs are passed on to a utility’s ratepayers.

The video, which is about 10 minutes long, is available at this web address:

A similar presentation will be made at information sessions that will precede public comment meetings on an environmental compliance plan and associated environmental surcharge request filed by the Kentucky Power Co. and its parent company, American Electric Power Co. The public meetings will be held next year at times and places yet to be determined.

“The environmental compliance issue affects every electric utility in Kentucky,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “This presentation offers a good introduction to the laws and processes that govern how environmental compliance costs are allocated and recovered.”

The PSC recently concluded environmental compliance and surcharge cases for Kentucky Utilities Co. (KU) and Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E).  Information about the Kentucky Power case (case number 2011-00401) and the KU (2011-00161) and LG&E (2011-00162) cases is available on the PSC website,

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 100 employees.

PSC YouTube Video Explains Environmental Surcharge on electricity rates