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NRG gets good marks from county regarding air quality

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

NRG Power Midwest, which is seeking the state's OK to haul more material to its Indiana Township landfill, this week got a clean bill from the Allegheny County Health Department in regards to air quality near plant operations along LeFever Hill Road in Indiana Township.

An inspection on March 10 through the county's Air Quality Program showed no violations with truck delivery or wash, or with relevant roadways in the Rural Ridge neighborhood.

“Sixteen trucks were observed entering the facility with loads tarped; no fugitive emissions were observed from the trucks during transit,” according to the report.

The report also said none of the trucks were observed depositing material from tires onto the road.

Of the 18 trucks inspected while leaving the facility, all were washed before leaving the plant, according to the report.

Last week, some residents who live near the plant questioned the air and water quality near the site that opened in 1981.

A meeting was hosted by the township, NRG and the state Department of Environmental Protection to gather input on the power company's request to haul additional materials into the landfill.

At that time, most of the questions focused on truck traffic and the dust generated from the trucks, said John Poister, DEP community relations coordinator.

Poister last week said DEP will continue to investigate.

“We are conducting inspections on the trucks and at both the plant site and the landfill to try to determine any other dust sources,” he said.

The facility receives and stores fly ash, bottom ash and gypsum produced from the NRG Cheswick Power Plant.

Additional material hauled into the plant would consist primarily of rock fragments, sand, concrete and slag, but may contain arsenic and cobalt, according to the NRG permit application to DEP.

Materials are generated by construction at the power plant and other nearby facilities and would be evaluated prior to disposal, Township Manager Dan Anderson said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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