The John W. Turk Jr. Coal Plant is a base load 600-megawatt coal-fired power station in Fulton, Arkansas, operated by the American Electric Power subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO). It provides power to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.Named for former SWEPCO president and CEO John W. Turk Jr., the plant came online in 2012 as the first sustained "ultra"-supercritical coal plant in the United States, reaching boiler temperatures above 1,112 °F and pressures above 4,500 psi. The plant relies on low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin.Its construction was embroiled in regulatory roadblocks and environmental lawsuits. At a total cost of $1.8 billion, it was at the time the most expensive project in Arkansas history.ControversyThough first proposed in 2006, lawsuits aiming to protect the ecology surrounding the project's proposed site delayed its groundbreaking. Plaintiffs cited potential damage to the area's fish, wildlife, grasslands, and cypress and hardwood groves.As part of a settlement reached in December 2011 with the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, Audubon Arkansas and the Hempstead County Hunting Club, American Electric Power/SWEPCO agreed to close one of the 528-megawatt generating units at its J. Robert Welsh Power Plant in Texas by the end of 2016 and purchase 400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by the end of 2014.