CONECTIV POWER PLANT IN SALEM COUNTY FACES $5.3 MILLION FINE, PERMIT LOSS FOR ONGOING DISCHARGES OF HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANT
(08/47) TRENTON - The Conectiv Deepwater Generating Station in Salem County faces $5.3 million in fines and the loss of a permit needed to operate its primary generator as the result of its continued failure to address excessive emissions of a hazardous air pollutant, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced today.
“We are imposing these stiff sanctions because this company has been repeatedly recalcitrant when told to correct this problem,” Commissioner Jackson said. “Compliance is DEP’s first priority here and elsewhere.”
Between December 2007 and April 2008, Conectiv ignored DEP orders to resolve problems with excessive emissions of hydrogen chloride from the boiler for the primary generator at the power plant, located in Pennsville adjacent to the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
The violations and penalties are detailed in an Administrative Order of Revocation and Notice of Civil Penalty Assessment issued against Newark, Del.-based Conectiv. The order specifically cites the company for exceeding the rate of emissions allowed in its permit on 106 days during this period. The company has taken no steps to correct the problem.
The DEP has ordered Conectiv to adhere to the hydrogen chloride limits in its permit or face revocation of the operating permit for the boiler effective Oct. 21. Operation of the unit after that date will result in additional penalties. Conectiv must conduct additional stack tests for hydrogen chloride within 45 days of receipt of the administrative order.
Coal is the primary fuel source for the boiler. When burned, coal releases chloride that combines with hydrogen in the air. The hydrogen chloride that results can mix with moisture in the air to form hydrochloric acid aerosol, a respiratory irritant.
Installation of state-of-the-art pollution controls for acid gases would resolve the hydrogen chloride problem. Conectiv has the right to request a hearing before the Office of Administrative Law.
For a copy of the order, go to: http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2008/conectiv.pdf