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AEP, other parties reach beneficial agreement to modify the NSR Consent Decree

by on February 25, 2013
As part of a proposed New Source Review Consent Decree agreement modification, installation of dry sorbent injection technology for sulfur dioxide emission reduction would take place at both units of Rockport Plant, shown above in an August 2008 photo.

(Story by Rachel Hammer)

AEP and parties to its New Source Review Consent Decree have requested a federal court to approve modification to that agreement. This modification includes a lower system-wide sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission cap for AEP plants. Caps will take effect in 2016 and will become increasingly stringent until 2029. At the same time, AEP will have greater flexibility on how it meets required emission reductions.

The agreement was filed Friday, February 22, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. It is subject to review and approval by the federal court, which is expected to occur within the next few months.

Under the new agreement, AEP will:

  • Install lower-cost [dry sorbent injection] (DSI) technology for SO2 emission reduction at both units of Rockport Plant and will make SO2 emission reductions sooner than required under the consent decree,
  • Retire or refuel Tanners Creek Unit 4,
  • Have the option of retiring Big Sandy Unit 2 and
  • Have the option of pursuing retirement or natural gas refueling of Muskingum River Unit 5.


The Consent Decree, signed in 2007, had specified that AEP install flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems on the Rockport units, Big Sandy 2 and Muskingum River 5.

Installation of DSI rather than FGD technology will mean significant cost savings for I&M customers while meeting all environmental requirements. I&M operates the Rockport units.

Prior to this new agreement, I&M had filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission requesting approval to install a dry scrubber on one of the plant’s two 1300 megawatt (MW) units in order to satisfy EPA requirements. I&M will withdraw this filing.

“This modified agreement will provide greater environmental benefits than the original agreement, and greater flexibility in implementation. The greater flexibility enables us to do so in a way that will allow us to provide customers with significant cost savings,“ explained Mark McCullough, executive vice president – Generation.

As part of the agreement, I&M will install an additional 200 MWs of wind energy, provide additional mitigation funding to the states, and create a fund to support other small scale renewable projects and other community benefits.

From → News From AEP

One Comment
  1. Who is I&M obligated to buy the wind turbines from?

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