Business Performance

Water Quality Improvements

In August 2014, proposed consent decrees were filed in two federal courts to resolve a coalition of environmental groups’ allegations against AEP's Amos, Mitchell and Kammer plants in West Virginia. The allegations involved water discharges from various sources at the plants. As part of the settlements, the company agreed to meet future limitations for mercury and selenium at the John Amos Plant. At the Kammer Plant, AEP will retire all three units and stop sluicing fly ash to the Conner Run fly ash pond no later than Dec. 31, 2015. The Mitchell Plant completed its conversion to a dry ash system and met new effluent limitations at the fly ash impoundment outlet in November 2014, and undertook a study of aquatic life at Conner Run during the summer of 2014. AEP also agreed to make a $75,000 contribution to the West Virginia Land Trust, pay $7,500 in civil penalties, and reimburse the groups’ attorney fees.

Water Research Center

AEP is one of 15 companies that have joined the Electric Power Research Institute and the Southern Research Institute to establish a first-of-a-kind research facility to address power plants’ water usage and treatment. The Water Research Center at Georgia Power Company’s Plant Bowen focuses on finding new ways to manage and treat wastewater and to reduce and conserve water used in the production of electricity.

Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project

Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project

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AEP began working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and other partners in 2011 on a market-based approach to improve Ohio River water quality. We are one of the first utilities in the nation to take part in the world’s largest interstate water quality trading plan. Representatives from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky pledged their support to the plan in 2012, and the first trades took place in March 2014, culminating a five-year effort. AEP has purchased 5,000 stewardship credits so far, and has agreed to retire the associated nutrient and ecosystem benefits. These benefits include carbon sequestration, habitat enhancement, soil runoff control and pollinator habitat. AEP’s participation has already reduced nutrients by 1,700 pounds and will reduce nutrients by 3,300 pounds by the end of 2015.

Although the credits cannot currently be used for compliance, this important program demonstrates that science- and market-based solutions can effectively address environmental concerns. The program is good for farmers, the environment and the participating companies. In 2015, the program was awarded the U.S. Alliance – United States Water Prize.

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