LG&E imploded the Can Run Generating Station in Louisville on June 8, four years after the coal plant had been decommissioned. Credit: LG&E LOUISVILLE, Kentucky—By taking advantage of a "natural experiment" brought on by the closure of one coal-fired power plant and the addition of new pollution controls at others in the area, health researchers have documented how lowering air pollution improves the lives of asthma patients. Led by Columbia University’s Joan A. Casey, an environmental health sciences professor, the team calculated a 55 percent reduction in the amount of lung-irritating pollutants in the air over Louisville beginning in the spring of 2015. The reduction came after the closure of Louisville Gas and Electric’s Cane Run facility and the installation of sulfur dioxide scrubbers at its Mill Creek plant and another, separately owned plant in Rockport, Indiana. The researchers found that there were nearly 400 fewer hospital admissions or emergency room visits for asthma attacks in Louisville in the year following the closure and the addition of pollution controls. Inside the future of energy. Tapping into data from an earlier research project, the researchers also found a 17 percent drop in the use of inhalers by 207 asthma patients […]

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