Feb 12, 2001
PPL Electric Utilities today announced that its partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has resulted in the completion of a major cleanup initiative.
The cooperative cleanup program is the first of its kind addressing the cleanup of former PCB spills from certain equipment on power poles. As a result of this partnership approach with the state, the company was able to remediate 113 pole sites much faster and more efficiently than was possible in the past.
PPL Electric Utilities operates more than 1 million power poles in its Pennsylvania service territory and spent nearly $2 million on the clean up project that ranged from Williamsport in the North to the Maryland border.
"This cleanup is one fine example of how Pennsylvania and its companies can work together to achieve great results for residents, customers and the environment," said DEP Deputy Secretary for Air, Recycling and Radiation Protection Denise K. Chamberlain. "PPL has been a terrific partner, and I commend their hard work at cleaning up these pole sites."
"This has been a cooperative process with DEP," said Lynn Ratzell, PPL manager-Environmental Management. "Because of this partnership we were able to protect human health and perform these cleanups in an efficient manner."
Ratzell attributes a great deal of the program's success to the Multi-Site Remediation Agreement signed by PPL and the DEP in 1995, which set priorities and performance standards to assure the groups kept focused. A multi-site agreement is a voluntary partnership with DEP. It is much like a strategic business plan, helping companies to clean up multiple contaminated sites over a period of time. This helps to allocate resources and clean up the most environmentally sensitive locations first.
Another key to successfully addressing the sites was the enactment of the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act of 1995, commonly known as Act 2.
This legislation and subsequent regulations created cleanup standards based on health and environmental risks and provided a uniform framework for conducting the cleanups. Since its inception, the land recycling program has completed 880 cleanups across the Commonwealth, creating or retaining 25,000 jobs.
In the past, PCB synthetic fluid was commonly used in electrical equipment called capacitors on power poles. However, the company began to phase out the use of PCB containing equipment in the '80s.
"Even though PPL cleaned all of these sites to the standards existing at the time of the spill, further remediation to today's standards was the right thing to do," noted Ratzell. "As part of PPL Project Earth, we have a responsibility to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner in the communities where we work and live."
PPL Electric Utilities is a subsidiary of PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL). Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., the company generates electricity at power plants in Pennsylvania, Maine and Montana; markets wholesale or retail energy in 42 U.S. states and Canada; and delivers electricity to nearly 6 million customers in Pennsylvania, in the United Kingdom and in Latin America.
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SOURCE: PPL Electric Utilities
Contact: Andy Hallmark of PPL, 610-774-5997, or Jeff McCloud of DEP,