BALTIMORE, MD (May 24, 2007) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Office of the Attorney General today lodged a Consent Decree in Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County resolving alleged violations of air quality opacity standards at three Maryland power plants owned by Constellation Power Source Generation, Inc. The Consent Decree requires Constellation to pay a $100,000 civil penalty, pay $100,000 towards a carbon sequestration project and install an estimated $9 million in technology improvements to control pollution.
“The majority of Maryland citizens live in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for fine particulate matter. This Consent Decree requires important reductions toward compliance with the federal 2010 deadline,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson.
Opacity is a measure of visible emissions, which is used as an indirect indicator of particulate matter emissions, the pollutant of concern. Under the terms of the Consent Decree, Constellation has agreed to install new technology and upgrade existing pollution controls to reduce particulate matter and opacity at its Brandon Shores, H.A. Wagner, and C.P. Crane plants in Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties. The new measures include: installation of coal analyzers at each plant to reduce particulate and visible emissions by optimizing coal blending and combustion; replacement of all 5,220 filter bags in the Crane Unit 1 baghouse with upgraded bags to improve particulate removal efficiency; and improvements to the particulate matter control equipment at Brandon Shores.
In addition, the Consent Decree requires early implementation of improved opacity monitoring procedures, more frequent interim testing for particulate emissions than is presently required, and installation of continuous emission monitoring systems for particulate matter at the Brandon Shores plant. Constellation estimates the total cost of the improvements will be approximately $9 million dollars.
Under the Decree, Constellation will also pay a $100,000 civil penalty to MDE and will contribute $100,000 to the University of Maryland’s Blackwater Wildlife Refuge Tidal Marsh Carbon Sequestration Project to restore tidal marshlands submerged as a result of rising sea levels and evaluate the effectiveness of tidal wetlands to reduce carbon dioxide levels through sequestration.