Emissions

AEP and Ohio EPA reach agreement to resolve fly ash release concerns at Gavin Plant


COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 15, 2003 — American Electric Power (AEP) and the State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have reached an agreement to resolve concerns about leaks in the fly ash handling system at the Gen. James M. Gavin Plant in Cheshire, Ohio.

The agreement, which includes a payment of $40,000 to the Ohio EPA, includes no admission of violations or liability by AEP.

In the summer of 2001, AEP began experiencing minor air and fly ash leaks caused by wear in components of the fly ash handling system. The system, which includes five miles of piping in trenches on the plant property, pneumatically delivers fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal, from the plant’s boiler operations to storage silos on the plant property. The leaks in the system at no time presented any environmental or health risk to employees or community residents.

“Once the problem was identified, we put together an expanded, aggressive preventative maintenance plan, which was submitted to the Ohio EPA for review and concordance, to address the problem,” said Greg Massey, Gavin Plant manager. “We continued to work with the agency and are pleased that our cooperative plan appears to have successfully addressed the problems we were experiencing. The fly ash handling system has been operating normally since June 2002, and no further corrective actions have been ordered by the Ohio EPA.”

The expanded preventative maintenance plan included improvements in the design of the fly ash handling system, increased system surveillance and the replacement of several system components. As part of the plan, AEP also agreed to document and report to the Ohio EPA all leaks, even the most minute, experienced by the system. The Ohio EPA has said it documented more than 60 leaks between August 2001 and June 2002, the majority of which were identified and reported by Gavin Plant employees.

American Electric Power, an energy company with a balanced portfolio of energy assets, owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S.

AEP is a wholesale marketer of energy commodities, utilizing its energy expertise and risk management skills to make optimal use of its generation, natural gas pipeline systems, natural gas storage, coal mines and inland barge fleet.

AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

News releases and other information about AEP can be found on the web at http://www.aep.com .