EPA: NRG’s Dickerson Plant Caused Oil Slick in Potomac River

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By Editors of Power Engineering

The EPA announced that NRG Energy’s Dickerson Power Plant in Maryland is the source of an oil slick in the Patomac River over a week ago.

An analysis by the U.S. Coast Guard indicates the sheen detected in the river was caused by lubricating oil matching samples taken from Dickerson and at Whites Ferry. NRG officials have been notified and agreed to join the investigation as the responsible party.

The discharge was estimated at less than 150 gallons, and has largely dissipated already.

NRG notified the EPA on Nov. 27 and began working with the EPA and other Unified Command agencies to identify the source. Releases were due to changing weather and shoreline conditions.

Inspections in areas where a boom is in place to protect drinking water intakes confirmed the sheen has been diverted away from the intakes, though inspection and maintenance of the boom will continue.

None of the drinking water intakes have reported materials from the spill.

The Unified Command consists of EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland Department of Environment, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Health, Washington D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment, and NRG.

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