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U.S. Navy Facility in Cutler, Maine Has Taken Steps to Reduce Air Emissions under Agreement

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David Deegan (

BOSTON - The U.S. Navy has taken steps to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants from its stationary diesel generators under an agreement signed recently with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The agreement relates to the Navy's operation of large diesel powered engines used to generate electricity at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Atlantic Detachment, located in Cutler, Maine. The power needed to transmit messages and to de-ice the antennas is supplied by four 4,066 horsepower engines with the capability to generate 3,000 kW of electricity each, and one 906 horsepower engine that has the capability to generate 750 kW of electricity. All five of these engines are subject to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines.

To achieve compliance with the federal Clean Air Act requirements for the Navy's large engines, the Navy has installed pollution control equipment on all five of the engines and has completed initial performance tests to demonstrate that the engines meet the national emissions standards. The Navy also submitted the required notifications and compliance status reports to EPA. Under the agreement, the Navy will also pay a penalty of $811,000 for its violations of the Clean Air Act.

By retrofitting its stationary diesel engines, the Navy is helping reduce hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde. Exposure to air toxics may produce a wide variety of health difficulties. Compliance with emission standards also helps reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. The health effects of these pollutants include a range of respiratory issues, especially asthma among children and seniors.

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