MDE, Attorney General Enter Agreement to Reduce Opacity
Violations at Three Mirant Plants
Consent Decree Requires Plants to Install Particulate Matter Continuous
Emission Monitoring Systems
BALTIMORE, MD (March
11, 2008) - The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
and the Office of the Attorney General today
filed 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 buses 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.
For more information about MDE Enforcement and Compliance, visit: www.mde.state.md.us/AboutMDE/enfcomp.asp.