Martin Lake Coal Power Plant is a coal-fired power station owned by Energy Future Holdings (EFH) and operated by Luminant near Tatum, Texas. Formerly known as TXU Corp., Energy Future was sold in 2007 to a group led by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and TPG Inc.

Lawsuit over Air Pollution at Martin Lake Plant

In July, 2007, the Sierra Club put EFH and its subsidiary, Luminant, on notice that the group intended to sue the company for Clean Air Act violations at its Martin Lake plant. The plant was rated as the first in the nation for power plant mercury emissions in 2005, emitting a total of 1,705 pounds of mercury that year. The Sierra Club claimed that both the U.S. EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ignored soot pollution and other violations at the facility. They also claimed that Martin Lake was one of the dirtiest plants in the entire country in regard to particle pollution, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide. These toxins, the Sierra Club noted, are producing a great health risk to communities nearby. The facility currently uses scrubber technology.

In September 2010, EFH and its Luminant Generation unit were sued by the Sierra Club over pollution emitted by the Martin Lake plant. The plant near Longview is among the dirtiest in the U.S., the environmental group said in its complaint filed in federal court in Texarkana, Texas: “It is the worst power plant for mercury pollution among all U.S. coal plants, emitting 1,764 pounds in 2008,” the Sierra Club said in a statement. The San Francisco-based group asked a judge to find the plant’s operators in violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Environmental Integrity Project Reports Luminant's Martin Lake Plant Nation's Worst for Mercury Emissions

In March 2010 the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) released a report using available EPA data that indicated half of the country's 50 largest mercury-emitting power plants have increased their emissions in recent years. The report also noted that half of the coal plants in the United States do not have the most up to date emission controls in place, and five of the plants with the highest amount of mercury emitted are located in Texas.

Coal-fired power plants generate more than 40 percent of U.S. emissions. Mercury released into the air settles in rivers and lakes, where it moves through the food chain to the fish that people eat. The report states that Luminant's Martin Lake Steam Station in Texas is the nation's worst mercury polluter. The plant reported a 4.56 percent increase from 2007 to 2008.

Martin Lake ranked 5th in largest carbon dioxide emissions

Martin Lake Coal Power Plant ranked 5th in terms of largest carbon dioxide emissions according to a 2009 report by Environment America, "America's Biggest Polluters," the Martin Lake station is the fifth dirtiest plant in the nation, releasing 21.8 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007. Ranking is based upon Environmental Protection Agency data.

Plant Data

  • Owner: Energy Future Holdings
  • Parent Company: Luminant
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,380 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 793 MW (1977), 793 MW (1978), 793 MW (1979)
  • Location: 8850 FM 2658 N., Tatum, TX 75691
  • GPS Coordinates: 32.259167, -94.568611
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 21,301,393 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 77,419 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 15,608 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 1,705 lb.