« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Mr. Ewald. That is my understanding.
Senator NELSON. If that is the case, so far as I am concerned, I won't pursue the question. There is no use in duplicating in my questions to you what they will cover in their report.
I don't have any further questions. Senator Metcalf may have some. I appreciate very much your taking your time to come over here this afternoon and making your appearance.
Senator METCALF. I concur with the chairman's appreciation of your appearance. I congratulate you and the company you represent on a fine experience and attitude toward conservation and preservation of our resources as testified to by the Department of the Interior and authenticated by your own testimony today.
This is a most interesting situation where choosing an alternate site, as you said, might increase its costs somewhat. Would that also increase its rates?
Mr. Ewald. The differences we are talking about here as between two sites, Senator, are not of such a magnitude that they would, in themselves, cause us to increase our rates, but they do, nevertheless, a třect our rates in the long run, as you well know, and they are significant costs.
Senator METCALF. As you also testified, it would affect the stability and the service you are rendering in certain specific areas?
Mr. Ewald. That is right. Senator METCALF. On the other hand, the people who enjoy that additional stability and maybe a little bit lower rate are the same people who are going to participate and enjoy the recreational facilities along the river. So, we have a weighing of two values here that sometimes we don't have when it is just a question of industrial pollution.
Mr. Ewald. In that connection, Senator, I would like to make one point, too. As we look toward the future development of the power industry and we know electricity is a vital thing to the community and will continue to grow, we need all of these sites. We, and when
say “we," I mean the community, need this natural resource as a powerplant site very much in the long run.
Senator METCALF. Your point is that if you don't build such a plant here this year, a decade from now when your demands double again, you are going to have to go back and ask for permission to build such a plant, is that right?
Mr. Ewald. That is exactly right, Senator, and we can make substantial financial benefits by building it now.
Senator METCALF. It would be our hope, perhaps, that the technology would be such that a decade from now we would be able to take care of preservation of other resources, too.
You have said that you decided to develop this plant for four specific reasons. There would be a saving in a shipment of coal, wouldn't there, if this plant were built at some place farther down the river?
Mr. EWALD. That is true. There would be a saving if we were to build a plant farther down the Mississippi, but that saving would be of the order of $80,000 a year as compared with the $10,000 transmission costs. So, it is about half eaten up by the extra transmission
Senator METCALF. We think out West where we are just moving into a position of thermal power, that the best way to transport coal is by electric transmission. We are building some of our plants near the mines, I would think there would be a question here of weighing costs of transmission against the costs of barging coal but those things would be things for the company to determine rather than for this committee, of course.
The problem, it would seem to your company is going to face if we set national standards, and we have already had witnesses who have suggested that there be minimum national standards, and we have persuaded both parties in the Congress, as Senator Nelson pointed out, that there should be such standards, is that it could be that you would be underway on construction of a plant and then find out that you couldn't conform to such standards. Perhaps that is something we don't have to worry about in this particular case because Mr. Wilson's testimony is that perhaps the best conservation department in the Nation is that of Minnesota, but let's take some other utility companies that are doing the same thing in States where there are no standards. Wouldn't it be well to have some minimum Federal standards?
Mr. EWALD. I don't think I am qualified to comment on that, Senator. I believe, at the moment, the State standards are adequate for our requirements.
Senator METCALF. Would you be opposed to establishing similar standards at a Federal level ?
Mr. Ewald. If they are reasonable, I certainly would not.
Senator METCALF. Are the standards that you have supported at the other dam—what did you call it, Black Dog? Mr. Ewald. Black Dog plant. We consider them real good.
Senator METCALF. Are they the same as you would have to meet here on the St. Croix River?
Mr. EWALD. I don't know the answer to that, because the Commission has not yet ruled on the St. Croix River with respect to water pollution.
Senator METCALF. Did you anticipate that they would be the same?
Mr. Ewald. I don't know. I would expect in my own mind that the St. Croix might be more, the standards on the St. Croix might be more liberal than those on the Minnesota.
Senator METCALF. What do you mean by more liberal?
Mr. Ewald. In their allowance of temperature induction into the water.
Senator METCALF. I see.
I have been advised that the Pennsylvania Electric Co. of Johnstown has devised a means to turn sulfuric dioxide gas into sulfuric acid at a profit. If this is correct, is your company aware of this? Is it a possibility here?
Mr. Ewald. Yes, Senator. We are aware of the work that is being done that you mentioned on the removal of sulfuric dioxide, but by no means is it economically feasible, in my opinion, insofar as I have been informed. We are very much interested, in fact, we are supporting the research work done in this direction. We hope that
there will be a breakthrough in not too many rounds of powerplants before we will be able to salvage it. My understanding now is that it is not economically feasible.
Senator NELSON. I don't have any notion about the information that I have here, but is it your understanding that the Pennsylvania company does convert it into sulfuric acid at a profit, or are you not aware one way or the other?
Mr. Ewald. No, I understand that it is feasible to do so physically, but that it is not economically feasible. You are saying, doing it at a profit
. Do you mean they pay for the installation and justify it economically? I am saying that my understanding is that it is not economically justifiable and possible.
Senator Nelson. I see. My understanding was that it was, but I have not seen the material upon which that statement was made.
I suppose the difference in cost involved here in some of your other plants is that you use natural gas and this one uses coal.' Is that a problem of cost or is that a problem of something else?
Mr. Ewald. Senator, we use interruptible natural gas in several of our powerplants, but this is only available to us during the summer months, during the off-peak period of the pipeline. In all of our major plants we have to use coal during our heavy load winter period. The use of this interruptible natural gas was considered for Bayport, but we have to be certified by the Federal Power Commission. A supply has to be available, and in a broad way there will not be sufficient noninterruptible gas available, nor are we likely to be able to receive certification for it. I question whether we will be able to use interruptible natural gas, but in any event, we would have to use coal for a very large part of the year,
Senator Nelson. I have just one question relative to the question that Senator Metcalf asked concerning water quality standards. I am asking the question simply because this is the issue we have been dealing with at the congressional level. There is authority, if public health and welfare is involved, for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Federal, to come in and get started on an action of enforcement to abate a source of pollution. But it is always an after-the-fact situation. Any business under present law may go right ahead and build a plant that creates a pollution situation which is injurious to the public health and nothing can be done until after the pollution occurs. My question is, Would it, in your viewpoint, be better if there were quality standards set in advance? In other words would it be better if studies were made, hearings held, and the river were classified as a certain quality type of water. Some are trout streams, for example, and some are not. Standards would be set in advance to guide businessmen and industrialists. If some industry intended to introduce something to lower
the standard, immediately action could be started and the issue settled before the investment has been made. My question is , Would that or would that not, in your judgment, be better than the present situation?
Mr. Ewald. If there is a complete enough study and complete enough information is available so that the standards you are talking about are reasonable in terms of the present state of the particular art you are talking about, obviously it would be better to have the standards established in advance.
Senator NELSON. I intended the question to be put that way.
Mr. EWALD. Take the case of air pollution in the case we are talking about here, coal and boilers. This industry has advanced very rapidly.
The first 500-kilowatt plant was built in 1961. It went in service with the burning of coal ash. The building of electrostatic precipitators to take the solid gases out of the stack has come forward in tune with the development. As you pointed out, we are working diligently on the research and development for removing the sulfuric dioxide. The standards to regulate must take cognizance of the state of the art and be able to meet them in reasonable terms.
Senator NELSON. I agree, and the committee in all of its deliberations has always aimed at taking into consideration the state of the art. More than that, there may be times when it isn't feasible, though you could do it. Congress and the committee has always taken that into consideration.
Mr. Ewald. I think our industry has done an outstanding job, and I think we are in the forefront of our industry in taking the attitude, the position, that we want to cooperate in establishing of the highest matters of this kind, air pollution.
Senator Nelson. I thank you very much.
Judge McDonough. One closing statement and some resolutions from Washington County.
First of all, again we assume the State of Minnesota, through its water pollution control commission, through the department of conservation, the State board of health, will protect the interests of the people of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Much emphasis has been placed on recreation. We don't believe they are mutually exclusive terms here. The six barge tows a week for 40 weeks out of the year will not interfere in that degree, which will make this a commercial river.
Senator Nelson. Six?
Judge McDonough. Yes, 6 tugs a week pushing so many barges, 1 think it would be more than 15, no more than 15, because of the locks they have to go through.
Senator Nelsox. Fifteen what, barges?
So, aside from the fact of the air pollution, aside from the fact of water pollution, aside from any effect it has on aquatic plants of the river, you have emphasized algae. I would like to point out to the good Senator from Wisconsin, we have three major industries in Washington County. Of seven metropolitan counties, we have the highest per capita debt. The reason we do is because of these magnificent and excellent school systems we are providing for the children of Washington County. We have three major industries, and 30 percent of the employees come from your State of Wisconsin, all the way from Menomonie, Ellsworth, and 30 to 40 miles north of us. This is true of the Chemolite factory which is the Minnesota Mining factory south of us, and I believe there are many employees from the Northwestern Refining factory at St. Paul. The total evaluation of these plants is $1,370,552.96. If this plant comes in here, the increased tax bases for industrial purposes will be $2,355,864, almost a million dollars
Now, recreation is a wonderful thing, but it could be ashes in our mouth if you don't have employment. You must remember, you will not have the industrialization west of here in the State of Wisconsin
Senator NELSON (interrupting): On the employment question, what is the unemployment rate in Washington County?
Judge McDonough. The unemployment rate is low, but I would like to know the unemployment of the counties of Polk and St. Croix. I don't know what the unemployment rate is. It is very, very, low. We do have it, but 30 percent of our employees in this country come from the State of Wisconsin.
The past week we have been discussing many of these problems with people in North Hudson, River Falls, and Ellsworth, and they have been lawyers, councilmen, a couple of judges, and businessmen, relative to the establishment of this plant here. Of course, our question from these gentlemen in every instance, is, “What would you be doing if this plant were to be located in Hudson, Wis.?” They say they would be 100 percent for it. I don't say this out of disrespect; I have the greatest respect for you. We have followed your great career and we know of your great interest in conservation, but I wonder if you would be at this table if this hearing were being held in the city of Hudson.
Senator Nelson. Since you have asked the question, my answer is yes. [Applause.]
So that you may have a complete answer, this is a hearing that I am conducting in behalf of the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution. As Governor of the State of Wisconsin I conducted hearings and investigations in all kinds of conservation matters and tackled them hard and disputed with all kinds of powerful economic interests in my own State.
Is that the end of your presentation ?
NORTHERN STATES POWER Co.,
Minneapolis, Minn., December 17, 1964. Mr. Ron M. LINTON, Chief Clerk and Staff Director, Committee on Public Works, U.S. Senate, Nero
Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. LINTON: At the meeting of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution held in Stillwater, Minn., on December 10 and 11, 1964, requests were made for certain information to be supplied to the subcommittee. In re sponse thereto I enclose the following memoranda :
1. Allen S. King plant, land acquisition to make up present proposed site,
4. NSP, total system (including NSP Wisconsin), generating capacity, by type of fuel burned (as of December 1, 1964).
5. 1963 kilowatt-hour output data, Northern States Power Co. Minneapolis and suburbs. 6. SO, removal from flue gas.
7. Sulfur dioxide removal from flue gases, review of literature. I am also enclosing a copy of a letter dated November 12, 1964, from Pioneer Service & Engineering Co. addressed to Mr. D. F. McElroy, manager of engineering, Northern States Power Co., re Allen S. King generating plant, unit 1, sulfur
I trust that the enclosures will provide you with all of the information which you requested. If further information is desired, please write or call me. Very truly yours,
DONALD E. NELSON, General Counsel.