See below for a timeline of events related to the Pee Dee coal plant proposal. These were compiled by the Florence Morning News.
Click here to view a video on the Florence Morning News website featuring Terri Cook, a Pamplico resident who lives next to the proposed coal site. There's also some pro coal guy on in the video who thinks (erroneously) the new coal plant will bring a lot of jobs to the area.
Timeline of proposed coal-fired plant in Kingsburg
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008
Santee Cooper has proposed a 600-megawatt coal-fired generation facility, which would be located on a 2,709-acre tract in Kingsburg. The facility is scheduled to become operational sometime after 2012.
Officials within the company have said the energy produced by the plant is necessary to South Carolina to prevent a power shortage in the next five years.
Area residents have been divided on the issue, and an end to the debate is nowhere in sight.
Below is a timeline of the events surrounding the proposed coal plant thus far.
On April 21, 2006: Santee Cooper announces plans for a 600 megawatt pulverized coal facility with an estimated cost of $984.
On May 22, 2006: The proposed completion date is cut by two years — putting the expected completion date in 2012 — and adding $14 million to the price tag for the plant.
On Oct. 7, 2006: Santee Cooper begins submitting permits in the hopes of clearing the land of the proposed site in Kingsburg.
On Oct. 24, 2006: Pamplico Mayor Gene Gainey announces his stand in favor of the coal plant. Also, Santee Cooper announces plans to begin construction in March 2007.
On March 20, 2007: The first of the groups opposing the coal plant begin to surface. Southern Environmental Law Center and the Coastal Conservation League began making their opinions against the proposed plant known.
On March 21, 2007: Santee Cooper extols the need for more power in South Carolina, saying the company will be 385 megawatts short of the amount needed to power homes in the region by 2012, if the plant isn’t built.
On April 30: Santee Cooper announces its intention to use a more in-depth version of the Environmental Impact Statement as required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This process will delay the construction of the coal plant by 14 to 18 months.
On May 2: Florence County Council announces its support for proposed plant.
On July 12: The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control holds an informal public meeting to answer questions about the proposed facility.
On July 17: Columbia-based environmental consulting firm, LPA Group Inc. is selected to perform an evaluation of the environmental impact statement.
On Sept. 17: DHEC issues the draft of the Prevention Significant Deterioration despite many requests not to by conservationists and some residents.
On Sept. 27: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers holds two public scoping meetings to hear the concerns of residents affected by the proposed plant.
On Oct. 25: Members of the Coastal Conservation League, the S.C. Wildlife Federation, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the S.C. Sierra Club, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and residents of the Pamplico and Kingsburg areas gather at the S.C. Statehouse to protest the proposed plant.
On Oct. 31: Health care professionals in the Pee Dee gather to protest the plant, citing health issues as a reason for DHEC to deny the draft air permits.
On Nov. 8: DHEC holds a public hearing on the draft air permits for the Santee Cooper facility to better address the concerns of the residents in the area. Gainey presents a petition signed by more than 1,000 people in favor of the plant. Mike King, a local environmentalist and resident of the Kingsburg area, also presents a petition signed by more than 400 residents of the area who are against the plant.
On Dec. 13: Francis Marion University professors conduct an in-depth look into the economic benefits of the proposed coal plant, determining $900 million in economic output and 9,300 jobs will be brought to the region as a result of the project, based on information provided by Santee Cooper.
On Jan. 22: Formation of the Pee Dee Supporters for Progress is announced in support of the plant.
On Jan. 23: Conservation groups release 136-page analysis of coal plants, detailing potentially harmful effects.
On Jan. 29: Attorneys General from eight states urge DHEC to reconsider the draft air permits.
On Feb. 8: The federal court rules the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by removing coal and oil plants from the list of hazardous air pollution sources.
On March 3: Santee Cooper CEO Lonnie Carter defends the need for the coal-fired facility to the members of the Florence Rotary Club.
On March 19: Santee Cooper announces plans to move forward with the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), as required by the federal court’s ruling in February.
On March 27: Santee Cooper announces plan to increase the cost of the proposed coal plant from $998 million to $1.25 billion, citing growing costs of gasoline and building materials.
On April 11: Eastern Carolina Development Corp. and the Coastal Conservation League join forces to contract an outside data firm to review the economic data of the coal plant. The data from the report, using public information, shows markedly different results than the one conducted by FMU professors in December. According to the new report, only 228 jobs would come to the region as a result of the plant.
The Environmental Impact Statement has not been released by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Although DHEC has approved a draft air permit, it is not the final permit needed for Santee Cooper to follow through with plans to begin construction of the facility.
Below is a comparison of two Santee Cooper coal plants. The Cross Three facility began producing power in January, while the rates for the Pee Dee Energy Campus are projected rates based on analysis so far. The rates are per megawatt hour.
Carbon dioxide: 1,944
Sulfur dioxide: 0.512
Nitrogen oxides: 0.758
Pee Dee Energy Campus
Carbon dioxide: 1,784
Sulfur dioxide: 0.470
Nitrogen Oxides: 0.696
Mercury: Projected emission rates will be released after MACT analysis is completed in May.