The Environmental department’s activities include regulatory interpretation, permitting, report submittal, protocol development and general corporate environmental compliance.
The Environmental department partners with operational business units to provide environmental training and updates through targeted employee training initiatives across our service territory and project collaboration.
CenterPoint Energy is committed to complying with environmental laws and regulations and working with regulatory agencies as part of our environmental compliance activities. Environmental regulations are continually changing and require continuous review to determine applicability to our facilities. Our primary environmental focus areas include compliance; air quality; emissions reductions, environmental and sustainability activities and risks, including risks related to climate change; biodiversity, land use and preservation; waste and recycling; and water management.
Improving Local Air Quality
By 2035, we expect that our operations will remove or eliminate more carbon-related emissions – including nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), mercury (Hg) and particulate matter (PM) – from the environment than we produce.
- Our entire electric generation fleet is 100% scrubbed for sulfur dioxide and 90% controlled for nitrogen oxide.
- All units in our system are equipped with an electrostatic precipitator or a fabric filter that can remove particulate matter at an average of 99% efficiency.
- Enhancements to our system to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) began in 2014 with a focus on reducing sulfur trioxide and mercury emissions, as well as mercury reductions in wastewater.
ENIVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE INSPECTIONS
An Environmental Specialist conducts thorough environmental compliance inspections at each of our 13 Houston Electric service centers at least annually. Each inspection is documented and any concerns identified are resolved in a timely manner. A specialized waste management contractor monitors each service center’s designated waste storage area for compliance with storage and shipping requirements and manages the waste in collaboration with an Environmental Specialist.
In Power Generation, operations and environmental departments perform and document visual inspections on varying frequencies, depending on permit or regulation requirements. The inspections include observing operations that could generate fugitive dust; checks of the ash pond dams and landfills for signs of erosion or structural concerns; inspection of stormwater channels and material storage areas and containers; monitoring erosion control measures; and reviewing the operating conditions of continuous emissions monitoring system equipment.
In our Natural Gas Operations business, 125 service centers are inspected weekly. Most of the service centers generate hazardous waste but at very small levels. While CenterPoint Energy is not required to perform weekly inspections, we require them of our assigned Environmental Coordinators. Coordinators are responsible for all drums being closed and correctly labeled, inspecting for leaks or damage to drums or containers, and checking any new items placed in the waste storage area. These inspections are documented and provided to the Environmental Specialist quarterly. Gas Operations’ goal for environmental compliance is for each service center to be visited by the local Environmental Specialist annually.