Friday, April 01, 2005

Clean Air Act Settlement to Require Renewable Energy Investments as Mitigation Measure

The FirstEnergy Corporation, and its subsidiary Ohio Edison, reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in March to resolve a 1999 lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that the company's modification of a power plant in Ohio violated the Clean Air Act's New Source Review (NSR) provisions.

Among other things, the Consent Decree lodged last week requires Ohio Edison to fund a range of renewable energy projects as a form of mitigation for the company's past violations. Ohio Edison will fund $14.4M in renewable energy development, either via long-term contracts with wind power producers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and western New York, or through the development of landfill gas projects. The company will also fund $10M in "environmentally beneficial" projects in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and as well as a solar energy project in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and an air quality improvement project in the Shenandoah National Park.

A copy of the March 18, 2005 Consent Decree is available on EPA's website, and the Notice of Consent Decree is available in last Wednesday's Federal Register. The U.S. Department of Energy has a report on the settlement, as does Business & Legal Reports.