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AQMD deal skips city

April 28, 2001

Karen S. Kim

BURBANK -- In light of California's energy crisis, Glendale has

entered an agreement that will allow its utility to exceed pollution

emission standards, but Burbank's utility officials said Burbank will be

fine -- at least until the end of summer.

Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis said Burbank runs on

a totally different system than Glendale. Instead of having a limit on

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NoX emissions, as Glendale Water and Power does, BWP must buy as many NoX

credits as it needs to emit.

NoX emissions are pollutants that contribute to smog.

But Burbank only has enough NoX credits to power the city until the

end of summer, Davis said.

"By September, I'll have to work out something with the state, too,"

Davis said.

In Glendale's deal, the city has received authorization from the South

Coast Air Quality Management District to bring its older, less

environmentally sound generators online.

The older units can dump up to 600 additional pounds of NoX emissions

into Glendale's air each day, bringing the Grayson Power Plant's total

NoX emission level to about 995 pounds per day.

It would take about 33,000 cars to emit 600 pounds of NoX per day,

South Coast Air Quality Management District officials said.

The South Coast AQMD, an environmental agency that regulates air

pollution, authorized an abatement agreement with the city Tuesday,

giving Glendale Water and Power permission to exceed its total limit for

NoX emissions.

In return, Glendale Water and Power will produce an additional 50

megawatts of energy that can be sold to the state, and most of the

utility's profits from the additional generators will be used to reduce

pollution in Glendale.

Burbank Water and Power is also planning on reopening Magnolia No. 4,

a power plant that was shuttered in 1998, by June. The 20-megawatt

generator was updated right before it was shut down, so it is a

low-emission producing plant, Davis said.

Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird said the decision to bring the

older Grayson units online was not based on the financial profits the

project might bring to Glendale.

"We'll put all our profits back into improving air quality, he said.

"We're not in this for the money."

But Glendale isn't getting such a bad deal, either.

About 10% of the profits made from energy sales using the older

generators will be funneled back into Glendale's general fund, as

dictated by the city's charter. Glendale will also be paid back its

expenses from total revenues.

The remainder of the revenues, which the city estimates will be

between $700,000 and $3 million, will be used for reducing pollution in

Glendale.

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