Maryland fines coal power plants $1 million for polluting rivers

Aug. 31, 2016
Fine is the largest issued in years by state environmental regulators.
The Chalk Point Generating Station in Prince George's County, Md., is one of two coal power plants in the state being fined for violations of the Clean Water Act.

MARYLAND, AUGUST 30, 2016 -- State environmental regulators in Maryland are issuing the largest fine levied in years against two coal power plants. The Chalk Point Generating Station in Prince George's County and Dickerson Generation Station in Montgomery County will be fined $1 million for dumping high levels of nitrogen into the Potomac and Patuxent rivers.

The actions, an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act, took place from 2010 to 2013. Officials said the nutrient was discharged in the plant's wastewater.

Houston-based NRG Energy Inc. owns both plants.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles called the fine a "stiff penalty" that signals the state is holding polluters accountable, something some environmentalists question.

The consent agreement, filed in federal court Friday, also requires the plants to invest in technology that would further clean nitrogen from their wastewater and spend another $1 million on water-quality improvement projects.

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