Dynegy cleans-up

Dynegy is to invest up to $545 million in emission control technologies to resolve environmental litigation relating to pollution problems at its Baldwin Energy Complex in Illinois.



The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in 1999 as part of a US government initiative to bring operators of coal-fired power plants into full compliance with the provisions of the Clean Air Act. The US Department of Justice, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Illinois filed the suit.



In the suit, the EPA claimed that in 1999 the Baldwin Station was one of the largest sources of air pollution in the USA, emitting approximately 245,000 tons of SO2 and 55,000 tons of NOx annually.



After the suit was filed, Dynegy did reduce SO2 emissions at the Baldwin plant by over 90% through conversion to low sulphur coal, and it reduced NOx emissions by 65% by installing control equipment.



But the settlement will achieve additional reductions at Baldwin and other Illinois coal-fired plants run by Dynegy by requiring installation of four new flue gas desulphurisation devices; four new baghouses to control particulate matter; and operation of existing control equipment, including three selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, year-round to control NOx.



The entire five-plant system, made up of Baldwin, Havana, Hennepin, Vermilion, and WoodRiver generating stations, will be subject to annual emission caps to assure that significant system-wide reductions for both SO2 and NOx are achieved.



Under the terms of the settlement, Dynegy will invest $321 million in emission control projects between now and 2010, with an additional $224 million in investments between 2011 and 2012.



Dynegy will also pay a $9 million civil penalty and spend $15 million in projects to mitigate the harm caused by unlawful emissions.