Asbestos Exposure at Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation

Niagara Mohawk Power Plant New York

Niagara Mohawk Power is an electricity and natural gas supplier to about 1.6 million customers in upstate New York that has its roots in the hydroelectric potential of the region’s many rivers.

It was acquired by National Grid in 2000 and continues to operate as Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation.

Former Niagara Mohawk plant workers may develop mesothelioma or lung cancer from being exposed to asbestos through the course of their employment. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, contact Belluck & Fox, LLP for a free case review.

Specific Power Plants

Dunkirk Steam Station New York

Years of Operation: 1950-Present
Address: Dunkirk, New York

Dunkirk Steam Station is a coal-fired power plant situated on an 84 acre site on Lake Erie in Dunkirk, New York, about 50 miles southwest of Buffalo. The station was acquired by NRG, Inc. in 1999. New York State officials approved a plan in 2014 to repower Dunkirk with natural gas, a move that’s expected to lower both fuel costs and pollution.

The 600-megawatt Dunkirk plant consists of four coal-fired units that went into operation between 1950 and 1960. As of December 2013, however, the plant only operated one unit due to the high cost of coal.

In 2012, NRG filed a notice of intent with the New York State Public Service Commission to shut down all four units over cost concerns, but a $140 million agreement between NRG and utility provider National Grid to repower Dunkirk with natural gas ultimately saved the plant, along with around 70 jobs and considerable tax revenue. NRG is the largest taxpayer in Chautauqua County and is responsible for more than 40 percent of Dunkirk’s annual property tax revenue.

Environmental group the Sierra Club and a community group called the Ratepayer and Community Intervenors responded to the plan by filing a lawsuit seeking to put the natural gas conversion plan on hold. The suit claims that taxpayer subsidies for the project will result in unnecessarily high electric bills for customers and that the environmental review of the plan was flawed.

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Huntley Station

Years of Operation: 1916-Present
Address: Tonawanda, New York

The Huntley Generation Station is a coal-fired power station located in Tonawanda, New York, just outside of Buffalo. It is owned by NRG Energy, which bought the station from Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. in 1999. Huntley Station is one of the few remaining coal-fired power plants in New York and was once Niagara Mohawk’s largest coal-fired plant.

Construction of River Station—the original name of the plant—began in January 1916 by Buffalo General Electric. The station name was changed to the “Charles R. Huntley Station” in 1926 to honor the death of the Buffalo General Electric president. The facility later became part of the Niagara Hudson System.

Despite investments by NRG geared towards reducing pollution from Huntley, the plant led the list of biggest polluters in Erie County each year between 2002 and 2011 and again in 2013.

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Glenmont Powerhouse (Albany Steam Station)

Years of Operation: 1952-2005
Address: Bethlehem, New York

Niagara Mohawk Corporation began operating the Albany Steam Power Station in Glenmont, New York in 1952. Originally a coal-fired station, it was converted to oil in 1970. Additional modifications in 1981 allowed the plant to also burn natural gas and raised its total capacity to 400MW.

PSEG Power LLC purchased the Albany Steam Station from Niagara Mohawk in 2000 for $47.5 million and subsequently announced plans to build a new facility—the Bethlehem Energy Center (BEC)—on the site to replace the existing plant. Construction of the BEC plant began in 2002 and commercial operations began there in July 2005.

The Albany Steam Station was decommissioned in February 2005, but the new plant uses the old plant’s switchyard. It also uses the old plant for its electrical shop, maintenance shop, and instrumentation and control shop.

PSEG sold everything of value in the Albany plant, including steel, pumps and motors, and condenser tubing. PSEG is responsible for maintaining the old plant’s encased and tagged asbestos in its encapsulated condition. All other asbestos was previously removed.

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Oswego Steam Station

Years of Operation: 1956-Present
Address: Oswego, New York

The Oswego Steam Station is located on a 91-acre plot on Lake Ontario’s shores in Oswego, New York. It consists of four steam-powered electric generators capable of producing a total of 407 megawatts of power.

Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation began construction of the units in 1938 and completed the fourth unit in 1956. The four units were originally designed to be coal-powered but began using oil in 1972.

Niagara Mohawk announced the sale of its 88 percent stake in the steam power station to NRG Energy, Inc. in 1999 for $80 million. National Grid Group PLC, a British power company, purchased the remainder of Niagara Mohawk’s holdings and debt for a total of $8.9 billion on September 5, 2000.

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Nine Mile I & II

Years of Operation: 1970-Present
Address: Scriba, New York

Nine Mile Point is a two-unit nuclear power plant located in Scriba, New York (about 40 miles north of Syracuse). Both units were formerly owned by Niagara Mohawk, which sold them off in an effort to become a slimmer company.

Nine Mile I first provided power to area homes and businesses in 1969. The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Forked River, N.J. and Nine Mile I are the two oldest nuclear power plants in the U.S.

Nine Mile II was issued its operating license in 1987. Its rated power capacity of 1,148 megawatts is nearly double the output of Unit I.

In 2001 Constellation Energy Group completed its purchase Of Nine Mile I from Niagara Mohawk. As part of the same deal, Constellation also bought 82% of of Nine Mile II, including Niagara Mohawk’s 41% stake in the plant. The remaining 18 percent of Unit 2 is owned by the Long Island Power Authority.

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FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

Years of Operation: 1975-Present
Address: Scriba, New York

The James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant is an 838-megawatt boiling water reactor (BWR) located on the same 900-acre Scriba, N.Y. site as the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station. It is named after James A. FitzPatrick, who served as Power Authority chairman from 1963 to 1977, the longest tenure in the Authority’s history.

The New York Power Authority trustee granted contracts to Niagara Mohawk Corporation and GE to begin construction of the site in 1968. The plant was issued its operating license in October 1974 and began commercial operations in 1975.

In 1987 the Power Authority announced its intention to build the Sound Cable Project, a 26-mile underground and underwater transmission line that would allow electricity generated in upstate New York to flow from Westchester County to Long Island.

The state Public Service Commission approved the plan in 1988 and in 1991, the Sound Cable Project began delivering electricity to several Long Island businesses. The cheap energy provided by the FitzPatrick nuclear station helped protect thousands of jobs in Suffolk and Nassau counties.

FitzPatrick reached the 100 billion kilowatt-hour lifetime power generation mark on January 15, 1998 and was sold to Entergy Nuclear in November of 2000. It remains one of the largest employers in, and a significant economic contributor to, Oswego County.

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History of Niagara Mohawk

Asbestos Exposure Niagara Mohawk New YorkIn 1929, 59 separate power companies serving northern New York joined together to form the Niagara Hudson Power Corp, a dual-purpose gas and electric company. The company would reorganize again in 1950 and become the Niagara Mohawk Power Co.

During the 1950s Niagara Mohawk purchased 83 hydroelectric plants, seven steam generators, and thousands of miles of gas mains. In the 1960s it undertook several major upgrades in these facilities to meet expected increases in the demand for electric power.

In 1965 the company received permission from the US Atomic Energy Commission to build an atom