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2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

New Life for Clean MGP Sites

Where possible, we restore former manufactured gas plant properties to a level suitable for redevelopment. Some examples of giving these sites new life include:

  •  Wilmington, N.C. - the redeveloped property includes an improved boat and kayak launching area;
  • Asheville, N.C. - we donated the restored property to the city for redevelopment as a riverfront park and greenway;
  • New Bern, N.C. - we donated the remediated site to Tryon Palace for use by its N.C. History Education Center; and
  • Raleigh, N.C. - the former MGP site is now part of the new Raleigh Convention Center complex.

We have potential environmental liability for a number of properties due to prior ownership, mergers, former customary practices or business relationships. These legacy sites include former operating facilities that we no longer own, existing operating facilities with previously undiscovered petroleum releases or disposal areas or facilities owned by others with whom we conducted business in the past. Working independently or with other parties, we evaluate these sites and use approved methods to remediate the site.

One example of Progress Energy’s stewardship role on environmental remediation is the cleanup of former manufactured gas plants (MGPs). From the 1800s through the mid-1950s, MGPs produced gas that was used for heating and lighting in homes and businesses. MGPs stopped operating after most of the country switched to natural gas during the 1950s. Many of these facilities were only operated by our current and former subsidiaries. Byproducts, such as coal tar, remained on-site due to the standard business practices of that era and now pose environmental concerns.

In Florida, we are participating in potentially responsible party (PRP) groups at two former MGP sites. The PRP group directs the work of environmental consultants who investigate and remediate the environmental contamination resulting from the prior operation of these facilities. The Sanford, Fla., MGP site is the largest in situ stabilization project in the United States, treating more than 142,000 cubic yards of soil and rehabilitating more than 2,300 feet of creek bed. The project was awarded a 2010 Project Merit Award by the Environmental Business Journal for the sustainable remediation approach, which reduced project CO2 emissions by more than 10,000 tons.

In North Carolina, we have signed an administrative agreement with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) to voluntarily assess and remediate 11 MGP sites. Through the end of 2011, remediation has been conducted at 10 of these sites, and environmental investigations were being conducted at the remaining site.

Another environmental benefit of our recent plant repowering projects is that we are addressing previously inaccessible media impacts associated with historical plant operations. As fuel-storage systems and other infrastructure are removed, we are able to further characterize and mitigate these conditions.

During the last 15 years, we have spent more than $70 million on the investigation and remediation of legacy sites. We have accrued an additional $16 million that will be used over the next 15 years on other known legacy sites.

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