FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Many people in the northern portion of East Texas may have heard a big boom Sunday morning.
However, the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office reported that the noise wasn’t anything that people should be worried about.
“I’m sure everyone heard the ‘explosion,’ stated a post on the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. “Everything is OK. That was Big Brown bringing down the two stacks as they continue takedown and cleanup of the mine.”
In the comments under the post, one woman said that the blast rattled homes as far away as Palestine and Neches.
The Freestone County Sheriff’s Office also posted a video of the stacks’ demolition on its Facebook page. The post stated, “Here’s the result of the BOOM this morning. For those wondering what it was and what the results were.” A man named Kirby Flandry shot the video.
Big Brown was one of two retired Northeast Texas coal-fired power plants that Commercial Liability Partners (CLP) purchased in 2020. The company also bought the Monticello Power Plant in Titus County, according to a press release on the company’s website.
CLP bought the two plants from Luminant. The press release stated that once the plants had been purchased CLP started the process of demolishing or remediating the existing infrastructure at the plants “with a goal of preparing the sites for future redevelopment.”
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of the two retired coal facilities in Mount Pleasant and Fairfield and pleased to continue our partnership with Luminant,” Ron Froh, the president and CEO of CLP, said in the press release. “Today’s announcement is the first step in a multiyear process that will ultimately focus on the redevelopment of the sites and the two communities.”
CLP officials said they would be working closely with state and local officials as well as community stakeholders during the demolition/remediation process, the press release stated. They are looking at developing plans for potential long-term use at the two sites.
“CLP will address the environmental needs at the sites, including remediation, groundwater monitoring, abatement, decommissioning, and demolition of the facilities,” the press release stated.
According to the press release, the two-unit Big Brown Plant, which is located northeast of Fairfield, opened in 1971. The Monticello site, which was completed in 1978, was a three-unit power plant that was located in Titus County. Both power plants were retired in early 2018.
CLP has managed the cleanup of more than 10 similar properties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia over the past five years, the press release stated. It also has similar projects underway in Michigan.