Pennsylvania issues final environmental permits for Fairless Energy Works

Clean-energy facility will occupy a brownfield site

MORRISVILLE, Pa., Oct. 13, 2003 — Governor Edward G. Rendell on Saturday announced that all state environmental approvals have been completed for the state-of-the-art Fairless Energy Works power plant being developed by Dominion on a former brownfield site in Falls Township, Bucks County.

The governor made the announcement during a tour of the $800 million clean-energy facility with company officials, local elected officials and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty.

“We are pleased to clear the way for this significant addition to Pennsylvania’s energy resources,” Governor Rendell said. “When Fairless Energy Works is fully on line next summer, this facility will send 1,200 megawatts of power into the competitive national energy market from what was recently only an empty brownfield in lower Bucks County. In July 2004, this will be one of the largest gas-fired power plants in eastern Pennsylvania.”

The governor said that water discharge permits have been issued to U.S. Steel Corp., which will receive and treat wastewater from Dominion’s power plant. Along with air quality permits issued to Dominion between August 2001 and February 2003, all DEP approvals have been obtained by the facility, which will use best available technology (BAT) standards to limit air emissions. To minimize contaminants, Fairless Energy Works agreed to burn only natural gas and control its nitrous oxide emissions through the use of a selective catalytic reduction system.

“The Commonwealth supports a diversity of energy generation technologies that benefit the economy and the environment. This gas-fired power plant represents a major capital investment in Bucks County, with minimal impact on the environment and local infrastructure,” Secretary McGinty said. “Pennsylvania will continue to take advantage of opportunities to develop advanced energy technologies and ensure a greater degree of energy independence.”

Construction of the gas-fired combined cycle electric power plant began in December 2001. During construction, Virginia-based Dominion employed as many as 900 construction workers per shift, relying heavily on local workers. To date, 1,400 workers have provided 3.5 million hours of labor at the 45-acre site in the USX Industrial Park.

Since 1998, DEP has worked with Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 and U.S. Steel to address the development of the 2,500-acre former U.S. Steel Fairless Works site, where there are now 42 tenants on 400 acres of the former brownfield. These businesses employ some 1,500 workers.

“This new power plant is part of the second generation of prosperity for U.S. Steel’s Fairless Works site,” Governor Rendell said. “We can see the tremendous potential that this industrial park offers tenants like Fairless Energy Works — easy interstate and rail access to New York and the entire East Coast, and easy access to an ocean vessel port. With incentives provided by Keystone Opportunity Zones and the Land Recycling Program, we will see more tenants and more jobs revitalizing Bucks County.”

For more information on energy technologies, visit the state’s web site at, Keyword: “Energy.”

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