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Groups Present Arguments Regarding IPL Coal Burning Plant

Last updated on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Community Affairs Committee of the Indianapolis City-County Council heard arguments Tuesday on the proposed resolution urging Indianapolis Power and Light to stop burning coal at its Harding Street plant by 2020.

Supporters of the resolution gave testimony on the health risks and costs associated with burning coal in the city.

Fred Mills with IPL says the company believes it does a good job balancing the cost with benefits while complying with all laws and regulations.

IPL has already made plans to convert two units at the Harding Street plant from coal-burning to natural gas. However, one unit will continue to burn coal until at least 2034.

Mills says if the council wants to pass the resolution, that is there prerogative and IPL will take that into consideration.

Democratic Councilor At-Large Zach Adamson says if passed by the council and signed by Mayor Ballard, the resolution will have no force of law.

The resolution passed through the Community Affairs Committee by a four-to-one vote. Republican Councilor Jefferson Shreve had the only dissenting vote. He says while he is in favor of the migration away from coal in Indianapolis, he can't support the resolution because he doesn't think it can be done within the proposed time frame.

Councilor Adamson rebutted by saying other power plants have phased out coal within two to three years so it should be feasible for IPL to do the same in twice that amount of time.

The resolution now heads to the full council for further debate. The council meets next on August 18.

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