AEP companies settle suit over WV plants - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

AEP companies settle suit over WV plants

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American Electric Power subsidiaries settled lawsuits in two federal courts Aug. 1 to resolve allegations involving discharges from various sources at three coal-fired plants in West Virginia, prompting adherence to tighter emissions reductions standards.

Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed suit against Appalachian Power, Ohio Power, Kentucky Power and AEP Generation Resources, claiming that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection must use the permitting process that allows public input through notice and comment to change water permits instead of using administrative orders, which are issued without a comment period, AEP announced.

AEP has spent $2.2 billion on environmental improvements at its West Virginia plants in the last decade, according to the company; but those efforts evidently aren’t enough.

As part of the settlements, the company will meet future limitations for mercury and selenium at the John Amos plant; retire all three units at the Kammer plant and cease transporting fly ash to the Conner Run fly ash pond, located near Graysville, no later than Dec. 31, 2015; and complete the conversion to a dry ash system at the Mitchell plant and meet new effluent limitations at the fly ash impoundment outlet by Nov. 15, 2014, and undertake a study of aquatic life at Conner Run this summer.

AEP also agreed to make a $75,000 contribution to the West Virginia Land Trust, pay $7,500 in civil penalties, and reimburse the groups’ attorney fees.