Columbia Energy air pollution project under way - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Columbia Energy air pollution project under way

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- A project that will reduce air pollution at one of the state's largest coal-fired power plants is under way in Columbia County.

Wisconsin Power & Light says the $627 million project at the Columbia Energy Center near Portage will result in hundreds of construction jobs in Columbia County through 2014, when the work is expected to be done.

A spokesperson for WP&L says during the peak of construction, there will be about 600 workers on site. According to a Journal Sentinel report, the Columbia plant is the state's largest source of sulfur dioxide, which can contribute to asthma and respiratory problems. It's also the state's largest source of mercury emissions.

In addition to WP&L, the other owners of the plant are Wisconsin Public Service Corp., of Green Bay, and Madison Gas & Electric Company.

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