Why Decatur, Illinois, has one of the lowest electricity bills in America

Decatur Power Plant, a plant in the southern Illinois town of Decatur that serves the state’s southern half, has been the target of protests by residents who say the plant generates too much pollution.

The plant, which generates about 3 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric power, has a long history of controversy, and in December 2014, it lost a court challenge to a new regulation requiring the plant to limit greenhouse gas emissions to no more than 5 percent of peak-hour power production.

The plant, owned by Illinois Public Service Company, was fined $4.5 million in October 2015 for exceeding the 5 percent limit.

Decatur Powerplant is located near the city of Decor, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Chicago.

The town has more than 400,000 residents.

The company has not yet responded to Recode’s request for comment on the lawsuit.