Ever wondered which (and how much) toxic chemicals are released into the environment every year, by SaskPower, when coal is burned at the three coal-fired power stations in Saskatchewan (Boundary Dam, Poplar River and Shand)? Here's your answer;

 

ANNUAL GROUND & AIR POLLUTANTS ARISING FROM BURNING COAL
IN SASKATCHEWAN TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY

 

Once upon a time SaskPower provided information (the 'Sustainability Report') on some of the emissions associated with burning coal to generate electricity. However the last such report was for 2011. SaskPower advises that it has since been 'under review' : the 2011 report is no longer publicly available and neither is a newer version.

Consequently we did some digging and discovered SaskPower's total emissions, from burning coal.  This includes highly toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and chromium, pollutants like hydrochloric acid and climate-changing gases such as carbon dioxide. The results are summarised in the graphic above. 

So if you live around Estevan (Boundary Dam and Shand Power Stations), or Coronach (Poplar River Power Station) and/or if you are wondering what is being released into your air and water each year - now you know!

And, for the data hounds out there, here are the numbers behind the graphic for SaskPower in total and for each power station separately;

 
 

Wind and solar would directly reduce the amount of coal that needs to be burned to generate electricity. Since wind and solar release nothing to the atmosphere (or ground) when they are generating electricity - the additional use of these two renewable resources will mean a direct reduction in the emission of the toxic pollutants shown above. 

As a result you may now be wondering why Saskatchewan, despite having a world-class wind and solar resource, is amongst the lowest users of these two resources in North America. You might also be wondering why, in addition to actively preventing the development of that wind and solar resource, SaskPower is using $1-billion of your money to subsidise burning even more coal

SaskPower will  not respond to our questions on the subject so you might want to contact them direct: try Brian Mohr (Director, Sustainable Supply Development; e-mail: bmohr@saskpower.com). Good luck!