Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 27, 2013

AES Warrior Run responds to report critical of its operations

CUMBERLAND — Officials at AES Warrior Run have responded to a recent critical report on coal-fired power plants by environmentalist groups.

“AES Warrior Run is a state of the art clean coal fired facility utilizing continuous fluidized bed technology that began operation in 2000. This facility was built with emission control technology for both air and water, and is one of the cleanest facilities in the U.S. Warrior Run operates under and must comply with a Federal Clean Water Act discharge permit issued by the state of Maryland. Warrior Run has a wastewater treatment facility to treat all wastewater to the strict standards of our permit prior to any discharge. Warrior Run complies with all requirements of our permits,” said Peter Bajc, the plant manager.

The problem is the new regulations proposed by the Obama administration to lower carbon emissions go far beyond any available clean coal technology, said Adrienne Ottaviani, executive director of the Maryland Coal Association. The proposals are more designed to put coal out of business than assure an inexpensive and clean source of domestically produced energy, she said.

“The health and safety of our communities is very important and therefore Warrior Run meets all current environmental regulations,” Bajc said.

“Maryland’s seven coal-fired power plants dump tens of millions of pounds of toxic metals into the state’s waterways each year, according to a report released today by a coalition of environmental and clean water groups. None are currently required to limit the amounts of arsenic, mercury, lead and selenium they discharge into Maryland’s rivers and streams,” a press release from Clean Water Action stated.

The coal-fired power plant report was sponsored by Clean Water Action, among other organizations.

Clean Water Action is the nation’s largest grassroots group active on water, energy and environmental health. With 66,000 members in Maryland, Clean Water Action works for clean, safe and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, and creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, according to the organization’s website.

“Power plants should be required to use the best available technology to control and reduce the pollution they discharge,” said Andy Galli, Maryland program coordinator for Clean Water Action.

The report specifically mentions Warrior Run, among other Maryland power plants and says that none of those plants are required to limit heavy metal discharges into waterways.

“AES Warrior Run in Allegany, discharges into the lower North Branch of the Potomac River, which is already impaired by heavy metal pollution,” the report states.

AES Warrior Run is a coal-fired power plant with a capacity of 180 megawatts, according to company information posted on the website of The Greater Cumberland Committee. The company employs about 60 people.

The website of Clean Water Action can be found at: http://www.cleanwateraction.org/.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

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