Environment

Committed to Our Environment for a Better World

The conservation of the environment is essential for the survival of the human species. This is especially true in our Island. Conscious of our environmental reality, PREPA invests hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with environmental laws and to ensure that our operations work in harmony with the natural resources of Puerto Rico.
Since the beginning, PREPA recognizes our natural resources as a precious treasure to be valued, cared for and protected. The rapid transformation of Puerto Rico from an agrarian to an industrial society caused a strong pressure on the environment, but also increased our awareness of its importance. That is why PREPA commits to comply with all environmental laws and regulations, both federal and local, to preserve the essence of the natural beauty of our Island.

 


Clean Water Act

PREPA is subject to the provisions of environmental laws, both at the state and federal levels, related to the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Its strict compliance is regulated by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Quality Board (JCA), which ensure that liquid discharges have the least possible impact on our ecosystems.

PREPA is committed to maintaining compliance with the regulations related to the Federal Clean Water Act and the regulation of protection of groundwater supplies of the JCA. In fiscal year 2013-14, PREPA invested in the construction of secondary containment (container dikes) in some 17 substations with the purpose of preventing and controlling spills of oil into water bodies, as part of compliance with the Prevention Plans, Control, and Countermeasures implemented in the Directorates of Transmission and Distribution and Generation. In addition, the PREPA managed the closure of several underground injection systems (SIS) located in different regions of the Island.

Related to the Discharge Permits of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) program in thermoelectric power plants, a compliance level of 99% has been reached consistently with the provisions of the same for the 2013 calendar year. As part of efforts to maintain compliance with current and future regulations, PREPA is designing and implementing the following projects:

Important Projects

  • Water Supply Project of the Irrigation Canal of Lake Patillas to the Generatriz Aguirre Complex
  • Project for Improvements to the Wastewater Treatment System of the San Juan Plant
  • Project of reduction of temperature in the discharge of sea water used for the cooling of the condensers of the generating units of the Central Costa Sur (Section 316 (a) of the CWA)
  • Project to install an aquatic barrier in the seawater inlet structure used in the capacitors of units 5-6 of Central Costa Sur. (Section 316 (b) of the CWA)
Other Projects

  • Implementation of Prevention Plans for Runoff Water Pollution
  • Review of Better Management Practices Plans.
  • Approval of Alternate Compliance Plans of the Underground Injection Program for the Martín Peña and Toro Negro Substation I - Hydro-Gas
  • Updating of Prevention Plans, Control and Countermeasures in generating plants
  • Update of the Emergency Response Plans of the Coast Guard in power plants

Clean Air Law

Aware of our responsibility to our citizens and the environment, PREPA maintains compliance with the Federal Clean Air Act and the regulations of the EPA and the JCA, to ensure that their emissions have the least impact on our ecosystems. To do this, PREPA implemented programs aimed at reducing emissions in existing units.   In addition, PREPA evaluates alternative alternatives to conversion to alternative fuels to reduce the current dependence on fossil fuels. PREPA achieved a 99% compliance with the provisions of the Federal Clean Air Act during the 2013 calendar year.

Important Projects

  • Conversion to natural gas from generating units of Costa Sur (5 and 6), Aguirre (1 and 2), Combined Cycle of Aguirre, Palo Seco (3 and 4) and San Juan (5,6, 9 and 10)
  • Implementation of the new federal regulation of Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) in the generating units of Costa Sur, Aguirre, Palo Seco and San Juan
  • Implementation of the new federal regulation of the Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) for electric and emergency generators of the PREPA
  • Design and construction of the infrastructure for the supply of natural gas for the Aguirre Complex (Aguirre Offshore Gas Port)
Other Projects
  • Control program to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx)
  • Tests of combustion emissions to the chimneys of power plants
  • Operation of the Fuel Quality Control Laboratory to verify compliance with fuel specifications
  • Administration of the permissions operation of the generating units Title V of the CAA and PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration)
  • Maintenance and operation of the old BONUS nuclear power plant
  • Noise studies in substations and generating power stations of the PREPA

Transformer Oil Spills, Lubricants, Fuels and Hazardous Substances

Immediate response action to address these emergency situations and minimize the impact of pollution on the land resource
 

Compliance Program “PCB’s”

According to the EPA, PREPA has been the only electrical utility to establish an aggressive program for the sampling, analysis and identification, removal and disposal of transformers with a concentration greater than 50 parts per million (ppm).   During the term of the program, we completed the disposal of the transformers with a concentration of more than 500 ppm of PCBs and continued with the removal and disposal of the transformers with a concentration between 50-499 ppm of PCB's.

Corporate Recycling Program

Our Commitment is to administer an effective and systematic program of reduction, reuse and recycling of solid waste.   We use recycling as the first option to dispose of paper, cardboard, scrap, tires, used oils, ink cartridges, used batteries, luminaires, photocells, electronic measuring equipment, computers, electronic equipment and transformers.   Since 2011, PREPA has achieved over 35% compliance in relation to the diversion of recyclable material.