Settlement cuts utility's pollution plan by $225M

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A settlement prompted by a federal court ruling on power plant emissions has cut the cost of a western Kentucky utility's pollution control plan by $225 million.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission announced the settlement Monday. Big Rivers Electric had proposed to spend more than $283 million to install pollution control systems at plants in Hawesville, Centertown and two in Sebree to comply with federal rules.

But a federal court ruling in August overruled certain emission control rules set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new plan costs $58.5 million.

The PSC says the lower cost will mean less impact on consumer electric rates. But the agency says the EPA is required to produce new regulations that may require Big Rivers to install additional controls at a later date.