Alstom, a French-based conglomerate, announced a contract Friday worth approximately $95 million to supply Homer City Generating Station with pollution reduction systems.
According to a press release, Alstom plans to supply NID Dry Flue Gas Desulphurization Systems for the plant's two coal-fired units to reduce sulfur dioxide, mercury, and other pollutants being emitted from the plant.
The Center for Decease Control and Prevention's fact sheets about sulfur dioxide and mercury indicate prolonged exposure can cause severe health problems. Sulfur dioxide exposure causes damage to the respiratory health of both humans and animals. The fact sheets state that low-vapor concentrations of mercury over long periods of time can cause neurological disturbances, memory problems, skin rash and kidney abnormalities. Higher concentrations cause sever lung damage.
Concerns over pollution levels emitted by the plant have been long standing.
According to an article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the state Department of Environmental Protection fined the plant $200,000 in 2007 for selenium discharges into local streams.
In 2011, the Post-Gazette reported that DEP and the Environmental Protection Agency sued the Homer City plant for allegedly not meeting federal standards, however, the case was dismissed in October.
But Alstom's new equipment may change these concerns, or at least Alstom seems optimistic it may.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this important step towards lowering the environmental impact of power generation activities at Homer City," said Jim Yann, Managing Director of Alstom's North American Environmental Control Systems, in a press release Friday.