Power Plant Emissions Reduced at Duke Energy Corp. Locations in North Carolina
Duke Energy Corp., an electric and gas company, has settled with The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve violations at five of its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina that don’t comply with the Clean Air Act. Claims have stated that the electric and gas company violated the Clean Air Act by unlawfully modifying over a dozen of its coal-fired electricity generating units without obtaining air permits or installing and operating air pollution control equipment.
After the settlement, Duke Energy Corp. shut down 11 of the 13 units in question. The electric and gas company must continuously operate pollution controls and meet emission limits before shutting down the remaining units. The settlement also requires an additional unit to spend $4.4 million on environmental mitigation, in addition to a civil penalty of $975,000.
The settlement is expected to reduce emissions by 2,300 tons per year at Duke Energy Corp.’s Allen location. The units that have been shut down had emissions of 51,000 tons in 2000, but because they are no longer operational, their emissions will be zero.
“The settlement announced today marks another milestone in our ongoing efforts to enforce the Clean Air Act and reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants,” says John C. Cruden, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This settlement is a just and fair resolution to this long-running enforcement action in which we alleged that Duke modified these plants in ways that significantly increased its annual emissions. It is good news for the environment and public health in North Carolina.”
Duke Energy Corp. must continuously monitor and control sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions at the remaining two units that are still operational. The plants must meet enforceable emission limits before both units can be retired in 2024.
The settlement with Duke Energy Corp. is part of the EPA’s enforcement initiative to control emissions, according to the Clean Air Act.
Source: Duke Energy