Environmental Impact and Water Resources
Reducing Environmental Impact
We continue to make significant investments in environmental initiatives, including steps to reduce the environmental impact of our gas and electric operations.
Construction of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) equipment at our Schahfer Generating Station will help reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from those units by more than 95 percent. When this project and other related projects* are completed in 2018, we will have a generation fleet fully scrubbed with the best technology available to reduce one of the industry’s most significant air emissions – sulfur dioxide. At our Bailly Generating Station, we invested another $25 million in a duct burner project in 2011 to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions during start-up and low-load operations.
We continue to improve our processes to manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2010, we met short- term GHG emissions-reduction targets, and we continue to work toward managing our GHG emissions by investing in improving and enhancing system efficiency.
In order to significantly reduce GHG emissions, we believe we must first thoroughly understand all of the GHG emissions from our processes. In 2011, we continued to refine our GHG reporting by adopting more precise measuring techniques and also reporting GHG emissions from our customers.
At NGT&S, we developed an industry-leading program to reduce GHG emissions and certify these reductions through the Voluntary Carbon Standard. In addition, our modernization programs are reducing GHG emissions across our system. In addition, reduction of air emissions from our compressor engines is a key component of our environmental strategy. By 2013, we will have invested more than $20 million to install state-of-the-art catalysts on our compressor engines.
Preserving Water Resources
Although our operations are located in an area with abundant water resources, some of the operations are in sensitive water quality areas. We recognize the need to maintain water quality in our geographic area and continue to invest in maintaining and improving water quality in our most water use intensive area, northern Indiana.
During 2011, we invested $25 million in a state-of-the-art waste water treatment plant at our Schahfer Station. This plant will improve water quality on the Kankakee River and manage the waste water streams from the scrubbers currently under construction. * Part of a requirement to resolve allegations that NIPSCO violated the Clean Air Act.