NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.
The bad news just keeps on coming for Conectiv's Indian River Power Plant.
On Thursday, April 13, 2000, the plant was cited as being the dirtiest in the state in a joint report by the Philadelphia/Wilmington Clean Air Council and the United States Public Interest Research Group.
The report said the plant was the highest in the state in 1999 in Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrous Oxide (NOx) and Carbon Dioxide (C02).
Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide contribute to ground level ozone, or smog, which can be a serious problem for asthma sufferers. Carbon Dioxide can cause global warming.
DNREC, meanwhile, says the plant has made significant strides in reducing the pollutants it emits in the past 30 years and meets current regulations.
It shouldn't have surprised us that it would be impossible to find a Conectiv employee who could help us last Friday morning when power went out in the Cedar Neck area for an hour.
We finally gave up trying to report the outage after two phone calls to Conectiv.
The first call to the emergency number listed in the phone book resulted in an automated message that only gave us the company's business hours after telling us to press a number to report an energy problem.
The second call reached an employee in Conectiv's New Jersey division, who informed us we would have to call the number we called the first time to report an outage in Delaware.
You'd think after all of the turmoil Conectiv has been through in the past year that it would have at least straightened out its outage reporting system.
Hopefully, this outage wasn't a sign that we're in for a repeat of last summer's numerous outages and rolling blackouts, but that's how last summer's disasters started ... a short outage here, a short outage there, and finally, the major outage on July 4 followed by rolling blackouts the next week during the peak of the summer heat.
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