Compliance and Stewardship

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Environmental Compliance and Stewardship

Platte Generating Station ( PGS ) fully complies with all environmental quality regulations. Air emissions such as opacity (a measure of particulate ash level), sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide are monitored minute-by-minute and controlled below allowable limits. Water discharged to the Platte River is tested for pH and the presence of metals such as iron and copper. Only water which has been proven of acceptable quality is discharged from the plant site.

The staff at PGS aggressively pursue improvements in power plant efficiency. When plant efficiency is improved, less coal is required to produce electrical power. As a result, the formation of coal combustion by-products is reduced and lowers power production cost are lowered.

Plant equipment is maintained in top operating condition. Well planned equipment maintenance and inspection contributes to a reliable and efficient power station. At PGS, maintenance outage time is used to clean equipment such as the electrostatic precipitator which removes ash before combustion gas is discharged to the atmosphere. Cleaning the "precip" on a regular basis results in an ash particulate emission ( opacity ) level which is well below the allowable limit.

Whenever possible, water and steam are reused within power production systems and "waste" heat is used to heat incoming air and water streams. For example, hot gasses formed during the coal combustion process are used to heat air which is used in the fuel drying and steam generation processes. This procedure results in less coal consumption, higher plant efficiency, and lower emission levels.

Employees at PGS are interested in managing the plant site in a manner which promotes the establishment and maintenance of wildlife species such as deer, quail, pheasant, migratory waterfowl, turkey, birds-of-prey, song and shore birds, and fish. Some volunteer habitat improvement projects at PGS have included the maintenance of sheltered tree and tall grass areas which were originally planted in the early 1980's, installation of nesting platforms for Canada Geese on plant site ponds, and placement of wooden Bluebird houses by local junior high school students. Pest control poisons are not used at the plant due to the possibility of accidental ingestion by deer and birds. Each year Platte Generating Station participates in the annual North American Migratory Bird Count.

In response to concerns about fossil fuel-based power generation effects on the environment, stringent air quality, water quality, and waste management compliance legislation has been enacted at all levels of government in recent years. As a condition of continued operation, PGS must comply with environmental protection laws and demonstrate its compliance through the periodic submittal of reports to agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) and Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

Individuals and groups are welcome to tour the PGS facility and learn about plant operations. Presentations to student groups include a discussion of electrical power generation alternatives and environmental issues.