USA: NRG Energy Inc. has agreed with the States of New Jersey and Connecticut to settle a lawsuit concerning the operation of two coal-fueled electric generating units at the company’s Portland Generating Station in Mt. Bethel, Pa.
The settlement, via a federal Consent Decree, allows the parties to avoid further litigation of a lawsuit that began in 2007.
"NRG only acquired the Portland plant in December 2012 when we closed our merger with GenOn – but we immediately started working with New Jersey and Connecticut and were able to resolve this issue without additional delay or cost to taxpayers," said Lee Davis, president of NRG’s East Region.
"As a part of the settlement, we committed to make a significant investment in projects that are beneficial to the environment consistent with NRG’s focus on providing power in a way that is environmentally responsible, reliable and affordable." NRG is the nation’s largest developer of fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and a leading developer of large-scale and distributed solar energy.
The agreement ends a lawsuit brought by the States of New Jersey and Connecticut for alleged noncompliance with the federal Clean Air Act at the Portland plant based on work done many years before NRG acquired the facility. NRG operates the Portland plant in full compliance with permits issued by Pennsylvania and denies there have been any violations of the Clean Air Act.
However, the company agreed with New Jersey and Connecticut that settlement of this action is in the public interest and the most efficient means of resolving the dispute. NRG operates generating stations in 16 states including New Jersey and Connecticut; the company’s commercial headquarters is located in Princeton, N.J.
To meet the requirements of the settlement, NRG will stop using coal as fuel in two units at its Portland facility by June 1, 2014 after receiving the appropriate regulatory approvals. The units were previously scheduled to be deactivated on January 6, 2015. NRG has also agreed to invest $1 million to benefit the environment in New Jersey and Connecticut.