CONSENT DECREE WITH PSEG
FOSSIL INC. TO ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT CLEAN AIR BENEFITS
New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection Acting Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell and Acting
Attorney General Peter C. Harvey today announced that the
state and federal authorities have entered into a consent
decree with PSEG Fossil Inc. that requires the company to
install more than $300 million in new pollution controls
at its Jersey City (Hudson County) and Hamilton Township
(Mercer County) power plants that will reduce major emissions
by more than 80 percent. In addition, PSEG will spend $400
million to complete the repowering from coal to natural
gas of its Bergen County plant in Ridgefield Park.
The company must also pay a civil penalty
of $1.4 million and spend at least $6 million on three additional
projects that also will improve air quality in New Jersey.
The settlement, filed today in the U.S.
District Court in Newark, is the result of federal and state
allegations that the company modified its plants in Hudson
and Mercer counties and constructed its Bergen plant without
first obtaining permits required under the New Source Review
program of the Clean Air Act and the New Jersey Air Pollution
Control Act. It was signed by the U.S. Justice Department,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as state officials
and PSEG Fossil. The settlement is subject to a 30-day public
"While New Jersey's air will benefit
from this settlement, we need strong enforcement of clean
air standards in upwind states to fully protect New Jersey
citizens," said Campbell. "We remain very concerned
about a possible weakening of clean air standards now under
consideration at EPA."
"This consent decree represents a
very significant step in New Jersey's efforts to control
air pollution from in-state sources," said Acting Attorney
General Harvey. "At the same time we are aggressively
pursuing enforcement actions against upwind sources of pollution
to force out-of-state coal-fired power plants to install
similar state-of-the-art pollution controls to achieve long
lasting improvements in New Jersey's air quality."
When the new pollution controls are installed,
the company's combined emissions from all its New Jersey
facilities of sulfur dioxide (SO2) will drop approximately
90 percent, and its emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) will
decrease by about 80 percent. These decreases represent
about 30 percent of all the SO2 and 20 percent of all the
NOx emitted annually from plants, factories and other stationary
pollution sources in New Jersey.
The new state-of-the-art controls to be
installed at the Jersey City and Hamilton Township facilities
include scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction systems,
as well as a device to eliminate more than 1,000 tons per
year of particulate matter. The new controls and upgrades
will be phased in beginning this year, with all work completed
The terms of the settlement also require
the company to undertake three projects to improve air quality.
These include efforts to reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse
gas, by 15 percent; development of technology to monitor
and reduce mercury emissions from its plants, and efforts
to assist the state in recovering methane gas, also a greenhouse
gas, from landfills.