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FirstEnergy Announces Plans To Beneficially Use Scrubber Material From Bruce Mansfield Plant In Pennsylvania Mine Reclamation Project

Stocks in this article: FE

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has announced that it currently plans to provide scrubber material and coal combustion byproducts (CCBs) from its Bruce Mansfield Plant in Shippingport, Pa., for beneficial use at a coal mine reclamation project in La Belle, Pa., beginning Jan. 1, 2017.  Until then, the scrubber material from the Bruce Mansfield Plant will continue to be safely stored at Little Blue Run, a permitted residual waste impoundment located in Greene Township, Pa., that has been in use since the early 1970s.

FirstEnergy has negotiated an agreement with Matt Canestrale Contracting, Inc., that ultimately will result in CCBs from the Bruce Mansfield Plant being used at a mine reclamation project in La Belle, Pa.  As part of the project, the CCBs are required to be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for beneficial use.  Subject to DEP approval, the CCBs are expected to be transported by barge along the Ohio and Monongahela rivers from Shippingport to La Belle, Pa.  Currently, CCBs produced by FirstEnergy's Mitchell Power Station are beneficially used at the La Belle mine reclamation site.   

As part of this project, a new dewatering facility is expected to be constructed on the grounds of the Bruce Mansfield Plant to convert CCBs from a wet to a dry consistency.  Design engineering for the dewatering facility is under way and construction is expected to begin in the 2014-2015 timeframe. 

The decision follows a recent Consent Decree between FirstEnergy Generation, LLC and the DEP that requires the company to discontinue disposal of wet CCB material at Little Blue Run after December 31, 2016. 

"After conducting a detailed review of future disposal options beyond Little Blue Run, the decision was made to beneficially use this CCB material for an existing mine reclamation project," said James Lash, president, FirstEnergy Generation.  "This was an economic decision based on the costs of barging the material to a third-party site compared to permitting and constructing an expanded disposal facility near the existing Little Blue Run impoundment."

Approximately 450,000 tons per year of CCB materials from the Bruce Mansfield Plant are expected to continue to be converted to synthetic gypsum and sent across the street to the National Gypsum Plant for use in the manufacture of wallboard.  Since 2000, more than five million tons of this material has been recycled as wallboard.  In addition, the company continues to seek other opportunities for its CCB material.

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