Gov. Chris Gregoire put her signature on Senate Bill 5769 this morning in Centralia, bringing to an end a long fight over emissions from the Alberta-based TransAlta’s local coal-fired power plant.
TransAlta plans to build a natural gas facility to replace its coal-based operations. It is closing one coal-fired boiler by 2020 and the other by 2025, and under the bill must install pollution-reducing equipment and spend $55 million in local economic assistance.
Reporter Katie Schmidt is preparing a story for tomorrow's print editions.
Gregoire hailed the new law, which passed the Hose and Senate by supermajority margins, in this statement today. The bill is the result of a coalition of opposing interests coming together on a compromise to help the environment and preserve Lewis County jobs.
The coal plant has been cited as the state's top single source of mercury emissions in the air and a major emitter of greenhouse gases.