Target: Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley
Goal: Thank NRG Energy for agreeing to pay fines and clean up contamination caused by its disposal facilities.
GenOn Energy, a Houston company that merged with NRG Energy in December 2012, recently agreed to pay a total of $2.2 million in penalties and address long-standing pollution problems at three Maryland landfills caused by the ash disposal of three of its coal plants in the state. The settlement was reached via a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court between NRG Energy and several Maryland environmental groups. Thank NRG Energy for agreeing to pay the fines and fix the problems it is responsible for in order to encourage continued sustainable progress.
The Brandywine, Faulkner, and Westland landfills are located in Southern Maryland and Montgomery County. GenOn has been under pressure from a series of lawsuits filed over the past three years, and now as NRG Energy, the company has pledged to spend $1.9 million on investigation and clean-up of pollution caused by its waste dumping. In a separate agreement, NRG Energy will pay $300,000 and increase controls at its Brandywine landfill site, after being accused of allowing ash from the location to flow into a tributary of the Patuxent River.
In the primary settlement, the 140 acre Brandywine landfill, which receives ash from the company’s Chalk Point power plant, is noted to have polluted the Mataponi Creek. Poor controls allowed millions of tons of ash into the creek, threatening people and wildlife. There are 45 residential drinking wells within a half-mile of the area, which NRG Energy will be required to test. Faulkner landfill, spanning 180 acres, takes ash from Morgantown power plant and has contaminated streams that flow into Zekiah Swamp. The 83 acre Westland location is the dump site for the Dickerson coal plant and has affected streams in Montgomery County.
Through the efforts of Maryland’s environmental groups, NRG Energy has been forced to pay and clean up for the damage it has caused. By formally thanking the organization for settling and taking responsibility for its actions, we can encourage prudent planning and better controls so this does not happen again, demonstrating real appreciation for the natural environment. Sign this petition to ask Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to thank NRG Energy for agreeing to pay $2.2 million and fix the problems it created.
Dear Governor O’Malley,
GenOn Energy, which merged with NRG Energy in December 2012, has agreed to pay a total of $2.2 million in fines for pollution caused by its coal ash disposal practices in Maryland. Under agreements with state environmental groups, the company will spend $1.9 million on investigation and clean-up at its Brandywine, Faulkner, and Westland landfills in Southern Maryland and Montgomery County. It will also pay an additional $300,00o fine for the leakage of ash from the Brandywine site into the Patuxent River.
The three landfills span a total of 403 acres of Maryland land and have threatened people and wildlife around Mataponi Creek, Zekiah Swamp and its surrounding streams and waterways all over the region of Montgomery County. The settlement requires that NRG also test residential drinking wells that could be contaminated.
Through the efforts of Maryland environmental groups forcing this agreement, the current problem will be addressed. Now we need to move forward with positive action by thanking NRG for settling and taking responsibility for the problems it created, so this does not happen again. I urge you to formally thank NRG Energy for agreeing to settle, pay fines, and clean up its ash pollution, to demonstrate to the company that we hold real appreciation for our natural environment and that it should too.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrew Curtis via geograph.org