Utility's New Power Source Ends Quarry's Diesel Fumes

Because the Ferry County Public Utility District (PUD) recently turned on a new power system, Columbia River Carbonates (CRC) was able to turn off a diesel generator that was being used to power its quarry crushing operations in Okanogan County, eliminating 39 tons per year of air pollutants from the combustion of diesel fuel, according to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

"Diesel exhaust is one of the worst air pollutants affecting Washington's citizens, contributing to respiratory disease, heart disease, and lung cancer," explained Lynnette Haller, an air quality engineer with Ecology. "Columbia River Carbonates and Ferry County PUD are to be applauded for this joint venture to improve our environment."

Earlier this year the Ferry County PUD received $394,000 in loan and grant financing from Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to construct a three-phase power distribution system to retain CRC's operation in the state. The company makes high grade, ultra-fine calcium carbonate pigment products for the paper, paint, plastic, and other industries throughout northwestern United States and western Canada.

CERB funds are matched with $169,946 in local funds.

The new power system will replace a diesel generator, reducing costs for CRC, an essential component for the company to stay competitive and sustain operations. The three-phase power also provides a better environmental solution and helps the PUD restore lost industrial load, according to an Oct. 6 press release.

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