Checks and Balances
Increasingly, we rely on our environmental, safety and health management system to help our environmental performance continually improve. Given the success of our fossil and hydro generating fleet and construction projects, we have expanded the use of this system to our mining operations, coal transfer facilities and river transportation operations.
We conducted internal audits of our environmental management programs at 19 locations in 2013. The audits generally confirmed that programs are in place and are achieving compliance objectives. Audits also are focusing more on specific risks and controls, assuring that procedures are being handled effectively.
As AEP plants are retired, environmental requirements will continue to apply. Many existing environmental requirements, in particular with respect to the management of water and coal-combustion byproducts, will continue; however, additional requirements could potentially emerge. Compliance with environmental requirements after these plants are decommissioned will be given the same level of emphasis as if the plants were still in operation. Regulatory commissions in states where plants will be retired are being informed of the work that will be required well into the future.