Demand for electric energy continues to grow, which is a healthy economic indicator. Energy is essential to economic and social progress. Our challenge is to satisfy energy demand efficiently with minimum environmental impact. It is our policy to implement cost-effective approaches to mitigate adverse impacts associated with our operations.
As part of our efforts to reduce the need for future restoration, we began using cleaner-burning Powder River Basin coal in February 2004, at our BL England generating station to reduce SO2 This is in addition to the Flue Gas Desulphurization system already in use at the station. As a result of its SO2 and NOx reduction efforts, BL England was recognized by the Public Interest Research Group in 2004 for being the only station in the region that had no increase in emissions of priority pollutants.
In addition to reducing the release of priority pollutants, we recognize the potential for CO2 emissions to adversely affect the climate. The majority of Conectiv Energy’s generating capacity consists of state-of-the-art, combined-cycle technology to burn natural gas. This natural-gas-fired technology has fewer CO2 emissions per unit of electricity delivered than any other fossil-fueled generation technology. In addition, we are members of the Power Tree Carbon Company, an industry partnership to voluntarily sequester CO2 through restoration projects.
Despite our closely monitored operations, accidental oil releases sometimes happen. In such events, we take full responsibility for cleanup and subsequent environmental restoration. Two accidental oil spills at generating stations previously owned by PHI companies received attention during 2004 with respect to environmental impacts. During 2004, a riverbank cleanup along the Indian River was completed and the riverbank restoration plan was submitted and subsequently approved by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The company continues to work with the spill trustees on compensatory restoration plans.
Compensatory restoration of environmental resources associated with the oil spill in 2000 at the Chalk Point Generating Station, previously owned by Pepco, was completed in 2004. In July, PHI was recognized by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacker at a ceremony in which he stated, “Pepco worked closely with NOAA and co-trustees and proved to be a role model for how industry can produce significant restoration outcomes while addressing pollution liability.”
In December 2003, an accidental, small oil spill at the BL England station resulted in approximately 20 gallons reaching the Great Egg Harbor Bay. The oil was promptly contained and removed from the bay. During 2004, work to re-vegetate three acres for every acre affected by the spill was completed. Monitoring for vegetation survival is ongoing.
Economic renewal of the Christiana River front in Wilmington, Delaware, increased dramatically in 2004 with the relocation of a major corporate headquarters to the area. Delmarva Power has been successfully managing the environmental impacts from a former manufactured gas plant in the city for the past 20 years. With the renewal of the riverfront property, efforts have been initiated to restore the gas plant site to a brownfield status suitable for commercial use. Delmarva Power is working with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to develop an appropriate remediation plan for commercial use of the property.