Mirant has agreed to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from its four Mid-Atlantic plants by approximately 65% over seven years and pay a $500,000 civil penalty under a Clean Air Act settlement with Virginia, Maryland, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that was unveiled last week.

The EPA noted that the settlement resolves federal and state claims that Mirant has violated the NOx emissions limitation set forth in the operating permit for its Potomac River plant in Alexandria, VA.

The agreement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for public comment, requires Mirant to install pollution controls on several coal-fired units and to cap its annual emissions of NOx. The agreement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.

“Our agreement enables Mirant to significantly reduce emissions while providing the necessary flexibility to invest capital in the most efficient manner,” said Lisa D. Johnson, president of Mirant’s Mid-Atlantic and Northeast businesses. “Originally, what began as an effort by Mirant and government agencies to address emissions at only our Potomac River plant in Alexandria, Virginia, culminated in a creative solution involving all four of our plants in Maryland and Virginia, and benefiting the entire Washington, D.C. region.”

Mirant will install state-of-the art emission control equipment at the plants. In addition, the company will address specific concerns of the Alexandria community by installing equipment and technology to prevent dust and other particulate matter from leaving the Potomac River plant site.

Mirant operates four power plants in the Mid-Atlantic region (three in Maryland and one in Northern Virginia) with a total generating capacity of more than 5,200 MW.

Mirant will pay a $500,000 civil penalty, $250,000 of which will go to Virginia, and it will spend at least $1 million to finance nine projects that are designed to reduce particulate matter and fugitive dust emissions from the Potomac River plant.

The consent decree will be subject to a 30-day public comment period.

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