INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - More than 150 people rallied downtown Saturday, asking that Indianapolis Power and Light move 'Beyond Coal.'
Activists rallied in front of the Indiana State Museum, calling on IPL to retire its aging Harding Street coal-fired power plant and transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to a release.
At Saturday's rally, leaders from the Sierra Club, NAACP, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light and Citizens Action Coalition unveiled a letter addressed to IPL CEO Ken Zagzebski from a number of environmental, faith, neighborhood, business and government leaders. The letter asked that coal stop being burned at the plant.
The groups say the plant contributes 88 percent of all toxic emissions from industrial services in Marion County, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
A giant, inflatable inhaler was also featured at the rally, to dramatize air pollution from the coal-fired power plant.
A number of speakers addressed the issue at the rally. At the event's end, the crowd created a human billboard, that spelled out "Beyond Coal."
The groups plan to deliver the letter to Zagzebski later this month.
Indianapolis Power and Light released this statement following Saturday's rally, addressing IPL's future plans to meet new environmental standards:
Indianapolis Power & Light Company is committed to continuing to meet our customers' needs for safe, reliable, and affordable power while meeting all environmental regulations.
IPL meets all current EPA requirements at all of our generation locations, and we are working to meet new EPA mandates. IPL has filed plans with the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission to invest $511 million in new environmental controls at the Petersburg and Harding Street Generation Stations. It is estimated that new controls will reduce mercury emissions by approximately 80 percent.
We believe our plan is the best option to meet new environmental standards while keeping the cost to customers affordable.
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