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Thursday, October 02, 2008
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hearing on FirstEnergy Lake Shore Plant's wastewater discharge permit

Ohio EPA has scheduled a public meeting in Cleveland to discuss proposed modifications to the FirstEnergy Lake Shore Plant's wastewater discharge permit.

FirstEnergy is requesting Ohio EPA approval for two permit modifications related to wastewater discharges of mercury and copper at its facility located at 6800 Marginal Road in Cleveland.

The Lake Shore Plant's mercury discharge to Lake Erie averages 2.9 parts per trillion (ppt), higher than the 1.3 ppt average concentration limit required in its existing permit. To achieve the 1.3 ppt discharge limit, the facility would have to install extremely costly technology that would result in a substantial economic impact to the company. Ohio EPA has evaluated the cost and benefit of this approach and determined that a more effective way to lower the mercury impact is to reduce the amount of mercury being put into the wastewater system. Therefore, in order to receive a variance from the mercury limit, FirstEnergy would be required to identify the sources of mercury that go to its plant and take steps to minimize the mercury releases from those sources.

The proposed modification for copper would allow the facility to use a different method for calculating allowable discharges. If approved, the modification would not increase the amount of copper discharged to Lake Erie.

Comments on the proposed permit modifications may be presented at the hearing or submitted in writing to: Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. The public comment period ends October 9, 2008.

Ohio EPA has scheduled a public meeting in Cleveland to discuss proposed modifications to the FirstEnergy Lake Shore Plant's wastewater discharge permit. FirstEnergy is requesting Ohio EPA approval for two permit modifications related to wastewater discharges of mercury and copper at its facility located at 6800 Marginal Road in Cleveland. The Lake Shore Plant's mercury discharge to Lake Erie averages 2.9 parts per trillion (ppt), higher than the 1.3 ppt average concentration limit required in its existing permit. To achieve the 1.3 ppt discharge limit, the facility would have to install extremely costly technology that would result in a substantial economic impact to the company. Ohio EPA has evaluated the cost and benefit of this approach and determined that a more effective way to lower the mercury impact is to reduce the amount of mercury being put into the wastewater system. Therefore, in order to receive a variance from the mercury limit, FirstEnergy would be required to identify the sources of mercury that go to its plant and take steps to minimize the mercury releases from those sources. The proposed modification for copper would allow the facility to use a different method for calculating allowable discharges. If approved, the modification would not increase the amount of copper discharged to Lake Erie. Comments on the proposed permit modifications may be presented at the hearing or submitted in writing to: Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. The public comment period ends October 9, 2008.

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