Kucinich Calls Avon Lake Power Plant's Discharge "Dangerous" and "Detrimental"
NPR report says Avon Lake power plant has high toxic air emissions
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), is encouraging the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force Avon Lake’s GenOn electric power plant in to limit its toxic air pollution.
Kucinich released a statement on Nov. 8, commenting on an NPR report that the power plant was on a “secret EPA watch list.”
“Yesterday, it was reported that the GenOn electric power plant in Avon Lake had released more than 2 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2010,” Kucinich said in the statement. “The discharge of pollution in those quantities is dangerous and it is detrimental to the health of all Ohioans."
The congressman said another another GenOn plant with a similar record of polluting discharge was ordered by the U.S. EPA last week to “drastically reduce [its] emissions within three years…” That GenOn plant has six months to determine how it will meet the new limitations and one year to provide a demonstration.
“What is the difference?” Kucinich asked. “That GenOn plant is in Pennsylvania, and the EPA was acting on a complaint by the State of New Jersey, just across the Delaware River. A provision of the Clean Air Act governs ‘interstate pollution abatement’ and allows any other state or political subdivision to complain about the emission of any air pollutant from another state.”
Kucinich said if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the city of Erie were upset about the two million pounds of toxic chemicals discharged from Avon Lake’s GenOn’s plant, those city leaders could complain to the U.S. EPA and get relief.
“Citizens of Cleveland can only turn to the Ohio EPA,” Kucinich said. “We can’t wait for good citizens in Pennsylvania to protect the health and safety of our communities,” said Kucinich. “The Ohio EPA must act immediately to fulfill its responsibility to protect the people of Ohio and clean up this dirty plant.”
The NRP report specified the Avon Lake plant as one Ohio facility on the EPA's watch list with very high toxic air emissions and said the 41-year-old plant lacks modern pollution scrubbers required for newer plants.
GenOn has reported to the EPA, as stated in its Toxics Release Inventory the plant has released more than 2 million pounds of lead, mercury, arsenic and other toxic chemicals into the air in 2010.
At the Nov. 7 Avon Lake City Council meeting, Avon Lake Mayor K.C. Zuber and Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch commented on the NPR report, which said the EPA launched an enforcement action against Avon Lake saying the plant failed to install modern pollution controls.
Fenderbosch said GenOn needed scrubbers installed to comply with the EPA. She said the test cost $1 million to determine the scale of the scrubbers.
“Those scrubbers are on order, they’re waiting for them to come in,” Fenderbosch said.
Scott Cameron of GenOn later told Fenderbosch on Nov. 8 that GenOn was being evaluated for a scrubber and has not yet been advised if they would receive one.
Zuber said the plant met all EPA requirements.
“That plant meets all the EPA guidelines,” Zuber said. “All of them.”