Mirant To Pay Fines for Emission Violation at Three Md. Power Plants

Consent Decree Requires Plants to Install Particulate Matter Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems

BALTIMORE (March 15, 2008) - The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Office of the Attorney General on Tuesday announced the filing of a Consent Decree in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County with Mirant Mid-Atlantic, LLC to address visible emission (opacity) limitations and other air quality violations at Mirant’s Morgantown, Chalk Point, and Dickerson plants.

Visible emissions are important as an indirect indicator of particulate matter emissions. The settlement resolves repeated violations of the visible emission limitations from the coal-fired units at each of the plants, violations of the sulfur oxides and particulate matter emission limitations at the Morgantown Plant, and violations of reporting, monitoring and operating permit renewal requirements.

Under the terms of the Consent Decree, Mirant has agreed to an immediate 30% reduction in the particulate matter emission limitation currently applicable to the Morgantown Plant, and will install four particulate matter continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) at the three plants. Mirant will also pay a civil penalty of $175,000 and donate $75,000 to Prince George’s County to retrofit County diesel school busses with oxidation catalysts to reduce particulate matter emissions from the bus fleet.

"The Maryland Department of the Environment under Governor O'Malley is committed to improving air quality standards for the people of our State," said MDE Secretary, Shari T. Wilson. "The improvements secured by this Consent Decree will advance our efforts and improve our environment and public health through lower particulate emissions and better monitoring."

“Working together with MDE, we have addressed long standing violations of visible emission limitations by all three of the Mirant power plants,” said Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. “As a result of our strict enforcement of Maryland’s environmental laws, Maryland citizens will benefit from improved air quality.”

The Consent Decree also requires Mirant to make additional improvements to the plants to reduce opacity levels and particulate emissions, and implement more stringent opacity and particulate matter monitoring requirements. Improvements include upgrades to the particulate matter pollution control equipment at the Dickerson Plant, installation of truck washing facilities at the Morgantown and Chalk Point plants, and increased frequency of particulate matter stack testing at all three plants.

MDE initiated this enforcement action to secure compliance with the visible emission limitations at all three plants by July 1, 2009, and to ensure that all other violations are corrected.

Source: Maryland Department of the Environment

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