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Alcoa Announces Clean Air Act Agreement With Government and Citizen Groups
ROCKDALE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 9, 2003--Alcoa, the U.S.
Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State
of Texas, and citizens groups have announced a Clean Air Act agreement
under which the company will further reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) and
nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from its Rockdale Operations
lignite-fired power generating units near Rockdale Texas.
Previously, Alcoa voluntarily committed to reduce NOx by
approximately 50% and SO2 by approximately 90%. These reductions are
included in the Texas Voluntary Emission Reduction Program permit for
the units, issued by the State in 2002. This settlement is an
extension of that commitment whereby Alcoa will reduce NOx emissions
by approximately 90% and SO2 emissions by approximately 95% or shut
the units down. Alcoa recently completed an emission reduction project
that has already reduced NOx from its power facilities by
The total effect of Alcoa's previous and latest commitments would
reduce the company's emissions of SO2 by at least 52,000 tons per year
and emissions of NOx by at least 17,000 tons per year. The settlement,
lodged in the United States District Court in Austin, resolves all
federal and state government and citizen suit allegations. These
allegations suggested that the Rockdale power facilities were
operating without the appropriate "Prevention of Significant
Deterioration" permits because they were modified without installing
necessary pollution controls.
Alcoa is agreeing to these obligations as part of its overall
commitment to improve the environment and to avoid the costs and
uncertainties of a lengthy litigation process. The government, Alcoa,
and citizens consent to entry of the settlement without trial of any
issue and without any admission of fact or law and without any
admission of the violations alleged in the complaint.
Under the agreement, Alcoa will have up to 12 months to decide
(1) Install clean coal technology - circulating fluidized bed
boilers to replace the existing boilers;
(2) Install best available control technology on the existing
(3) Permanently shut down the existing units without replacements.
In addition to the emission reductions agreed to in the
settlement, Alcoa has also agreed to pay $1.5 million and to spend
$2.5 million on additional environmental mitigation projects that
include $1.75 million for land and habitat preservation and $750,000
for school bus emission reductions in the local area.
The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and
final court approval.
Note to Editors: In the text above, the "2" in "SO2" and the "x"
in "NOx" should be subscript.