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Corrected news release: EPA asks for comments on Duke Energy disposal wells

Release Date: 12/18/2008
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

CORRECTION TO U.S. EPA Region 5's December 18, 2008 News Release No. 08-OPA182 (EPA Asks For Comments On Duke Energy Disposal Wells.):
This press release contains a statement that is overly broad. The second sentence in the fifth paragraph states, "It is considered an example of clean coal technology, which uses coal to produce electricity without releasing harmful greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere." This sentence has been deleted to correct the news release. EPA regrets the error.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA182

(Chicago, Ill. - Jan. 6, 2009) Duke Energy Indiana of Plainfield, Ind., has applied for federal permits to construct eight underground injection wells at its plant just south of Edwardsport. EPA has determined the disposal wells do not pose a threat to underground sources of drinking water and proposes to approve the permits. EPA asks the public to comment on them by Jan. 15, 2009.

The draft permit is available for review at Bicknell-Vigo Township Public Library, 201 W. Second St. or online at http://www.epa.gov/region5/water/uic/uicpub.htm .

The company plans to install eight wells initially to inject fresh water into geologic formations deep below the surface. The company plans to use the same wells in the future to dispose of liquid waste called "blowdown waste" that is a byproduct of the process known as "gasification," which essentially burns coal in order to create a gas. The gas then fuels turbines that generate electricity.

EPA is reviewing information to determine if liquid blowdown waste is a hazardous waste. If EPA determines it is not, it plans to modify the permits to allow its disposal in the wells and will hold a public comment period on that proposed modification. If EPA determines the waste is hazardous, Duke Energy will need to apply for new permits to inject the waste.

Duke Energy's Edwardsport plant is called an "integrated coal gasification combined cycle plant."

To submit comments or request a public hearing, contact William Bates, EPA Region 5 (WU-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590 or e-mail him at bates.william@epa.gov

More information about underground injection wells is available on EPA's Web site: http://www.epa.gov/region5/water/uic/index.htm

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