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Entergy Arkansas to stop using coal at two power plants

White Bluff Coal Plant
Wil Chandler
Arkansas Business
A train delivers coal to the White Bluff power plant in Jefferson County which Entergy Arkansas has agreed to shut down in 2028.

Entergy Arkansas has agreed to replace two of the state’s largest coal-fired power plants with cleaner energy facilities.

As part of a settlement with the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association, the White Bluff plant in Jefferson County will halt operations by 2028 and the Independence Plant in Independence County by be shut down by 2030.

Both lack modern emissions controls and, a lawsuit alleged, violate the federal Clean Air Act.

"This is a gigantic day for Arkansas because these are two of the biggest and dirtiest unscrubbed coal burning power plants in the entire country," Glen Hooks, director of the Sierra Club of Arkansas, said in an interview with KUAR News. "It was time for them to retire and I’m really pleased to announce that they’re going away soon."

Entergy will also shut down its Lake Catherine natural gas plant in Hot Spring County by 2027.

The company said it will focus on cleaner energy facilities using solar, low-emission modern natural gas and zero emissions nuclear plants.

"This agreement allows for a reasonable transition to new energy resources by extending the life of the plants and associated jobs for another nine to 12 years while preparing for the future," Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Laura Landreaux said in a written statement.

The utility, which is the state’s largest, provides electricity to nearly 700,000 homes and businesses.

Michael Hibblen is News Director of UA Little Rock Public Radio. A 34-year radio veteran, he oversees the KUAR News staff, plans coverage and edits stories while also reporting and anchoring newscasts.