Friday, February 27, 2009

Citizens for Clean Power Sues Indian River Power, LLC

Citizens for Clean Power yesterday filed suit against Indian River Power, LLC, which is owned by NRG, in U.S. District Court in Wilmington. The complaint cites 6,304 documented violations of the Clean Air Act from 2004 to 2008:
55. The total number of separate opacity violations represented in these tables during the 2004-2008 time period is 6,304. Substantial additional opacity violations from Indian River units which occurred during this period are not reflected in these tables, but may be demonstrated subsequently in this matter. Indian River’s violations of these opacity limitations are likely to continue.
The Indian River coal power plant is required under its operating permit to submit reports on violations of the opacity standard to the state Division of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC). Even with this data, laid out in tables in the complaint, the company has not faced any significant consequences for the 6,304 violations.
The complaint says a civil penalty of up to $32,500 may be assessed for each separate violation. For those keeping score, that exposes NRG to a total of $204,880,000 in fines.
The opacity standard is described as a measure of the density of airborne pollutants such as particulate matter being discharged. Put another way, the plant’s neighbors can see the nasty stuff coming out of its smokestacks.
This is not the first instance of the plant getting away with an astonishing number of violations. In January of last year, we learned that NRG estimated that the plant killed about 4 million fish a year,
prompting this caustic comment from Senator George Bunting:
"Here we've gone to a great extent in Delaware to come up with a fishing license so we know how many fish are taken in our waters, and those intakes alone kill more fish than all the fishermen I know in my district will ever catch," Bunting said.
The Indian River coal plant sits in the middle of a cancer cluster and features an unlined pile of coal ash like the one that wreaked havoc in Tennessee last December.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Maria Evans said...

Actually, there are TWO unlined piles of ash at the IRPP. One of them is next to the plant, a stone's throw from the water and the other one is located on a little peninsula that juts out from the land called Burton's Island.

Burton's Island sits right in the river, and it's erroding into the water in big slabs like one of those glaciers you see in global warming videos.

DNREC is wrapping Burton's Island in something like a girdle to stop the erosion, but, and this is the good part, the wrap has to be porous to allow a gradual seepage of the toxins into the river or elses the toxins could build up under the liner and there could be massive releases.

I could go on about this for hours, it's a horror show.

7:47 AM, February 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody ask Sen. Bunting on the record if he has any relatives that work at the Indian River plant. Same Q for DNREC officials and the rest of the general assembly.

3:16 PM, March 01, 2009  
Anonymous Charley said...

Could you post a link to the Complaint?

11:54 AM, March 17, 2009  

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