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DEP Hosts 13th Annual Power Generation Conference

July 31, 2009

~Conference engages government and industry in environmental protection~

depLAKE BUENA VISTA – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Central District office today hosted the 13th Annual Power Generation Conference at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort & Conference Center in Lake Buena Vista. The one-day conference, featuring the power generation industry, government and other stakeholders, focused on alternative energy sources, carbon reduction, and emerging trends and technologies related to climate change.

“The Power Generation Conference has proven to be an extremely successful and valuable event,” said Vivian Garfein, DEP’s Central District Director. “By engaging industry and government in a mutually- beneficial learning environment, the conference aims to increase awareness and willingness amongst all stakeholders to continue to improve environmental protection in Florida.”

Reedy Creek Improvement District, Gulf Power/Southern Power Florida, LLC and Golder Associates, Inc., co-sponsored this year’s conference with support from DEP’s Central District Air Resource Management staff. Key speakers included Tommy Boroughs of Holland and Knight, LLP and former member of the Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change as well as leaders from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DEP, Florida’s electric utilities and the conference co-sponsors. Issues discussed included climate change, solar energy, nuclear energy, mercury emissions from electric utilities, plasma arc electric generation as well as regulatory updates from DEP and the EPA.

13-th-annual-conferenceThe Power Generation Conference began in 1996 with two dozen governmental regulators and representatives from Florida’s electric utilities gathering to discuss relevant environmental issues. In previous years, the conference focused on air pollutants such as sulfur and nitrogen compounds, and information disseminated at previous conferences contributed to reduction of emissions from steam electric plants statewide. Over the last two years, sulfur dioxide decreased by 20 percent and nitrogen oxides decreased by more than 10 percent.

In 2007 and 2008, the conference expanded to topics such as carbon emissions and climate change. The conference has served as a great resource for stakeholders as evidenced by DEP Central District and Air Division staff’s receipt of a 2008 Davis Productivity award, which recognizes excellence in government service.

DEP’s Division of Air Resource Management is tasked with protecting, conserving and restoring Florida’s air, with the primary goal of protecting the health of its residents. Air pollution comes from many sources including factories, power plants, dry cleaners and motor vehicles. The division implements the federal Clean Air Act and appropriate statutes to protect Floridians. The division also monitors the state’s air pollution control programs and coordinates our work with the efforts of other local, state and federal air quality programs. For more information about the division, visit www.floridadep.org/air.

To view presentations from this year’s Power Generation Conference, visit www.floridadep.org/air/publication/powergen.htm.

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