South Jersey power plant scrapping coal burner

Associated Press Modified: June 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm •  Published: June 21, 2012

UPPER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A power plant in southern New Jersey will scrap a coal-fired burner and use cleaner natural gas to fuel two others as part of an agreement with the state.

The B.L. England plant in Cape May County's Upper Township will shut down one of its coal-fired units and convert two others to natural gas.

"This agreement will bring one of the oldest plants here in New Jersey into the 21st century, and keep it there for a long time to come with extremely low emissions," said Robert Martin, New Jersey's environmental protection commissioner.

The steps that plant operator RC Cape May LLC will take will reduce hourly nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 98 percent, or 2,800 tons per year. Hourly sulfur dioxide emissions will be reduced by 99.9 percent, or 2,800 tons per year.

The agreement calls for coal-fired Unit 1 to shut down by the fall 2013. Unit 2, which currently burns coal, and Unit 3, which burns fuel oil and only operates during peak demand periods, are to be converted to natural gas by May 2016.

The plant operator must take interim steps to reduce pollution until then.

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