CALP: Some terms commonly used throught this site

Here is a Printer-Friendly copy of this page.

Acid Deposition Acid Rain Sulfuric and nitric acids formed by reactions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emitted to the atmosphere by sources such as coal-fired power plants. These acids help destroy paint on cars, building materials (including irreplaceable buildings and statues), cause damage to trees at higher elevations, harm forest soils, and adversely affect surface water and the organisms that depend on it. (1) GenPower's proposed Longview plant will produce up to ~4,000 tons per year combined nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. (2)
Allowance Trading Emissions Offsets/
Emissions Trading
An attempt to use market forces to reduce pollution. An "e;allowance"e; authorizes the discharge of a certain quantity of a pollutant. For example, one ton of nitrogen oxide emissions equals one allowance. A source of such discharges (such as a power plant) can choose to buy additional allowances from other sources that have reduced their emissions, or the source can reduce its own emissions and sell its available allowances to another source. "e;Allowance trading"e; is the buying and selling of allowances on the open market. (3) GenPower will likely have to purchase allowances for approximately 70 per cent of its emissions. If GenPower purchases 100 per cent of its emissions allowances from other sources in Mon County, the net emissions for the County would not increase as a result of the Longview plant. (10)
Ash Fly Ash and
Bottom Ash
A coal combustion byproduct that is either landfilled or sold for use in construction materials. It may contain trace concentrations of arsenic, selenium, boron, and molybdenum. (4) Also see definitions for "fly ash," " bottom ash," and "particulate matter" below.
Best Available Technology -or- Best Available Control Technology As defined in the Clean Air Act, a control technology for reducing, to the maximum extent possible, every regulated criteria pollutant emitted from a new stationary source. (5)
Bottom Ash   Ash particles too large to be carried in the flue gases that cling to the boiler walls or fall to the bottom of the boiler. It contains trace concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic (see "e;ash"e; above).
Carbon Monoxide CO A colorless, odorless gas formed as a byproduct of burning coal, wood, gas, and other carbon fuels. It is poisonous to humans and is a contributing factor to global warming. The DAQ proposes to allow the Longview plant to emit up to 2,948 tons per year of carbon monoxide. (2)
Class I Area

Class II Area
  The USEPA has deemed that some regions are more sensitive to air emissions than others. It has classified areas into three groups (Class I, II, and III Areas) according to the amount of growth they can sustain before significant air quality deterioration occurs. Class I Areas (Dolly Sods, Otter Creek Wilderness Area, and Shenandoah National Park, for example) have the strictest requirements. Morgantown is in a Class II Area. Class III Areas have the least strict emissions standards. (5)
Cooling Tower   Water is used to cool the equipment in the power plant. This water in turn heats up and must be cooled before it can be reused or discharged. Water is cooled by spraying it into the air inside a cooling tower.
DAQ (West Virginia) Division of Air Quality A division of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); DAQ will review the GenPower air permit
(West Virginia) Department of Environmental Protection The State's environmental regulatory authority that issues permits for air emissions and discharges to water.
Development Authority County Development Authority A group of volunteers; most are appointed by the Monongalia County Commission. Its mission is to encourage economic development and that in doing so it buys and sells land, arranges financing and sometimes provides direct subsidies.
Emissions Offsets Emissions Trading -or- Allowance Trading Please see the earlier definition for "e;allowance trading."e;
Emissions Stack   The tower through which the byproducts of burning coal will be emitted. GenPower's Longview power plant's stack will rise an estimated 550 feet above land surface. (2) That will put the top of the stack at an elevation of approximately 1,700 feet above mean seal level.
United States Environmental Protection Agency The federal environmental regulatory authority. USEPA has mandated that West Virginia and 22 other states decrease nitrogen oxide gas emissions to reduce high ozone levels along the east Coast of the U.S.
FDA Facilities Development Agreement An agreement approved by the Mon County Commission and the Development Authority in November 2002, that sets forth some basic terms for the Longview project. It is the first of three agreements, the other two being the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Agreement and the Lease Agreement.
Fluidized-Bed Combustion   "e;An advanced method for burning coal and other fuels while removing air emissions inside the sophisticated combustor system."e; (6) This method produces fewer emissions than older pulverized-coal boiler technology. The Longview plant will use pulverized-coal boilers.
Fly Ash   Finer than bottom ash, fly ash is entrained in the power plant's exhaust gases until removed with particulate filters or emitted to the air. Recovered fly ash is either sold for use in concrete, engineered fills, and grouts, or it is disposed of in landfills. It contains trace concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic (see definitions for "ash" above and "particulate matter" below).
Fort Martin Power Station   An active 1,107-megawatt coal-fired power plant owned and operated by Allegheny Power/ Allegheny Energy. The plant was built over 30 years ago and is located north of Morgantown near Maidsville in Monongalia county. The proposed Longview plant is to be located on a hill approximately one mile from the Fort Martin Power Station. (2) The Longview Power Plant will operate in addition to the Fort Martin plant.
GenPower   Established in 1999, a private Massachusetts-based company with eleven employees that develops electric generating plants through the design, permitting and financing stages. GenPower then sells the design and permit package to a separate builder-operator company. Once construction begins, GenPower is no longer involved in the project. One GenPower project developed under this model has been completed, two are under construction, and several others, including the Longview facility in Monongalia County and another in McDowell County, West Virginia, are in the development process.
Ground Water   The Longview plant proposes to use ground water from nearby coal mines in its process. This mine water (sometimes referred to as mine pools) must be treated before the power plant can use it. GenPower expects to use reverse osmosis (RO) to treat this water. Questions remain as to what GenPower will do with the wastewater generated from treatment.
Longview   The current name (after a few name changes) of GenPower's 600-megawatt power plant proposed for northern Monongalia County near the presently active Fort Martin Power Station. Former names include Fort Martin and Robinson Run.
MACT Maximum Achievable Control Technology For new sources, the emissions control technology used must be at least as stringent as the level of control achieved by the single best performing source in that industry.
MCDA Monongalia County Development Authority Please see the earlier definition for "e;Development Authority."e;
MEA Morgantown Energy Associates Also known as the "e;Beechurst Power Plant"e; a 68-megawatt power station on Beechurst Avenue in Morgantown. It provides power for heating and cooling West Virginia University. Excess electricity is sold.
MEPCO   A local coal company, controlled by Morgantown businessman James Laurita Jr., with a mine located immediately adjacent to the proposed site. GenPower has proposed using coal from this mine for the Longview power plant.
Mercury Hg Found in coal, this toxic heavy metal is released during the process of burning coal to produce electricity. It accumulates in the tissue of fish and other animals. It affects brain function in humans, with children and senior adults being the most susceptible. The USEPA has found that coal-burning electric utilities are the largest single source of human-caused mercury emitted to the air in our country. (9) The DAQ proposes to allow the Longview plant to emit up to 127.9 pounds per year of mercury. (2)
Mine Water Mine Pools Water that has accumulated in coal mines. GenPower has proposed pumping subsurface water from nearby mines, treating the water by reverse osmosis (RO), and using the water for cooling. Questions remain as to what GenPower will do with the wastewater generated from treatment.
NAAQS National Ambient Air Quality Standards Air-quality standards set by the USEPA for pollutants considered to be harmful to public health and the environment.
Nonattainment Area   A location that does not meet the USEPA air quality standard for ozone, carbon monoxide, or certain particulate matter. Although smog and ozone nonattainment is associated with large cities, the Morgantown area is close to becoming a nonattainment area for ozone.
Nitrogen Oxides Nitrogen oxides or "nocks" (NOx), are contributing factors to high ozone levels (smog) and acid rain. Coal-fired power plants are a major source of NOX. The DAQ proposes to allow the Longview plant to emit up to 2,142 tons per year of nitrogen oxides. (2)
NPDES   National Pollution Discharge Elimination System A permit to discharge to surface water, administered by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Ozone (O 3) Ground-Level Ozone A colorless gas formed by chemical reactions of carbon monoxide, methane, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of sunlight. Ozone is the major component of haze and smog. Ground-level ozone is a major health and environmental concern. Not only is smog ugly, it can damage the lungs and make them more sensitive to other irritants. This should not be confused with the hole in the ozone layer. Ozone pollution produced from motor vehicle and power plant emissions will never reach the stratosphere where ozone helps to protect the Earth from ultraviolet rays. (7)
Particulate Matter PM10 Soot, dirt, smoke, and dust: particles less than 10 microns in size (small enough to breathe). Approximately 99% of ash is trapped within the power plant. The remaining 1% that is discharged through the stack is enriched in mercury, arsenic, zinc and uranium. When inhaled, particles of this size remain in the lungs. (8) The DAQ proposes to allow the Longview plant to emit up to 110 pounds per hour (482 tons per year) of fine particulate matter (PM10). (2) This is in addition to the PM generated by all the other power plants in this area.
PILOT Payment In Lieu of Taxes A method whereby normal County property taxes are replaced by a lesser payment to the County. For GenPower to negotiate a PILOT agreement with Mon County, the County must eventually own the Longview power plant. Longview Power has such an agreement with Monongalia County.
PSC Public Service Commission The West Virginia entity that regulates utilities
PSD Prevention of Significant Deterioration A Clean Air Act requirement for new and modified stationary sources in attainment areas. A preconstruction permit must be obtained demonstrating that best available control technologies (BACT) will be used to control pollution emissions. (5)
Pulverized-Coal Burning Technology   An older technology for burning coal in a power plant. This method produces more emissions than fluidized-bed combustion (see definition above). Pulverized coal technology will be used at GenPower's Longview plant. (2)
Robinson Run   An earlier name for GenPower's proposed plant. The project is presently called Longview.
SIP-Call NOx SIP-Call State Implementation Plan (SIP) (also see "e;Allowance Trading"e; above) A plan submitted to the USEPA by each state demonstrating how that state will implement, maintain, and enforce National Ambient Air Quality Standards (see "e;NAAQS"e; above). 5 To maintain West Virginia's overall NOx budget, affected sources are required to remain at or below a certain number of emissions allowances. Sources that emit less than their allocated number of allowances can sell their extra emissions allowances to sources that emit more than their allocation. (3) See "e;allowance trading"e; above.
oxides of sulfur
Sulfur Dioxide
(SO + SO2 = SOx or "socks")
Released to the air when coal is burned; it can affect breathing and aggravate existing respiratory problems. It is a major contributor to acid rain. The DAQ proposes to allow the Longview plant to emit up to 3,215 tons per year of sulfur dioxide (SO2). (2)
Source Stationary Source In terms of air quality standards, anything that emits regulated pollutants. A power plant is an example of a stationary source, and a car is an example of a mobile source.
TIF Tax Increment Financing An alternative to Payment in Lieu of Taxes (see "PILOT" above), this potential tax break became available in West Virginia after the passage of Amendment One in the November 2002 election. Under TIF, GenPower (and its successor company) would own the property, but most of the taxes it would ordinarily owe the County would go toward paying off bonds used to finance the project. The County would receive little or no tax money until the bonds are paid off - typically 25 to 30 years - although it may benefit from taxes on other development that occurs as a result of the facility.
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs Carbon compounds (not including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) with a relatively high boiling point. The DAQ proposes to allow the Longview plant to emit up to 192,720 pounds per year of VOCs, with approximately 1.48 tons per year of that total being benzene, a human carcinogen.


(1) US Environmental Protection Agency, October 2002, Clean Air Markets - Environmental Issues URL:  
(2) West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality, August 2003, Draft Permit to Construct a Electrical Power Generation Facility, Longview Power, LLC, Permit No. R14-0024 (also the Preliminary Determination/Fact Sheet that accompanied the draft permit).  
(3) US Environmental Protection Agency, October 2002, Allowance Trading Basics, URL:  
(4) Bhumbla, Devinder, January 1996, Coal Ash For Reclamation,  
(5) US Air Force, Headquarters Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence PROACT Program, August 2002, Fact Sheet: The Clean Air Act: Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and New Source Review (NSR) (Construction Permits) URL:  
(6) US Department of Energy, September1997, DOE, Jacksonville (FL) Electric Authority Sign Agreement for World-Class Clean Coal Project, URL:  
(7) US Environmental Protection Agency, November 2002, Green Book,  
(8) Carleton L., and Gieré R., 2001, Microchemical characterization of fly ash particles, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Boston, Program with Abstracts (also available at  
(9) US Environmental Protection Agency, 1997, Mercury Study Report to Congress, overview available at:  
(10) Gever, John and Jim Kotcon, November 2002, Longview, Ozone and Development in Monongalia County, handout presented during a meeting with the Monongalia County Commission in November 2002