Letters: Midwest Generation defends its record
October 10, 2012 9:36PM
Updated: November 12, 2012 6:04AM
A recent Herald-News editorial swallowed hook, line and sinker the talking points of an extreme environmental agenda to eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity for our homes and businesses.
Among the most egregious claims used to support your position was that “Midwest (Generation) has made improvements to its Joliet plant since acquiring it in 1999, but not enough to keep up with federal requirements.”
That’s just plain wrong as basic fact checking would have revealed.
In 2009, our local plants in Joliet and Romeoville were among the very first in the country to install controls for mercury emissions — and today we comply with federal mercury regulations that don’t take effect until mid-2015.
In 2011, we installed additional controls for nitrogen oxide emissions that exceed federal regulations that have now been put on indefinite hold by a court appeal.
We’ve reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 83 percent at Joliet Station and by 91 percent at our Will County Station in Romeoville since purchasing these plants in 1999.
Coal plants in other states, with which we compete, operate under more lenient emissions rules. We operate under tougher State of Illinois regulations.
Beginning in 2013, our plants must achieve new state regulations for emissions of sulfur dioxide. Once again, while new federal regulations for these emissions have been set aside by the courts, we will be complying with tougher state regulations.
Contrary to your editorial’s assertion, Midwest Generation is among the nation’s leaders in reducing air emissions and in meeting federal and state Environmental Protection Agency standards that are set by agencies charged with protecting the public health.
For you to write that our substantial investment in environmental improvements is “not enough to keep up with federal standards” is wholly inaccurate. It undermines the cause of thoughtful policy debate, and it does a disservice to the 500 men and women who work at our facilities in Will County and to the hundreds of additional skilled building and trades workers who do special projects at our plants — including pollution control work.
Industry, labor and the citizens of Will County deserve to know that there are extreme national campaigns at work that would shut down responsible local businesses providing substantial economic benefits to the region and good jobs to hundreds of area families.
Joliet Station Director
Will County Station Director
Seeking cemetery info
I have been researching a small Civil War cemetery in Elwood, that was located west on Mississippi Avenue to Diagonal Road. I believe the property was purchased by the Army, and the Army relocated it in 1970.
I went to the Joliet Public Library to research it, but could find nothing. If anyone has information, please email email@example.com.