COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 30, 2000 -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) today reported the estimated amount of certain chemicals that the company´s 16 coal-fired power plants released to land, air and water in 1999.

The chemicals reported are on a list developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Electric utilities and most other industries are required to report releases of chemicals on the TRI list to EPA each year.

The EPA´s web site addressing TRI (http://www.epa.gov/tri/trihlth.htm) notes, "This information alone does not indicate the risks that these chemicals pose or may pose to human health and the environment. Small releases of highly toxic chemicals may be a greater risk than very large releases of less toxic chemicals. Though the TRI data is useful to evaluate the risk in your community, other information is required to form a complete picture. A determination of risk depends on the release conditions, extent of exposure, environmental conditions, and other factors."

AEP´s reportable releases totaled 109.3 million pounds in 1999, compared to 113.2 million pounds in 1998.

  • About 92 million pounds were released into the air in 1999, compared to 95.9 million pounds in 1998. About 81 percent of 1999´s air releases is hydrochloric acid aerosol.
  • Approximately 17.1 million pounds were contained in fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag or flue gas desulfurization material in 1999, the same amount reported in 1998. Releases reported in solid form were transported to regulated landfills or surface impoundments managed by AEP, or transferred off-site to other regulated entities.
  • About 200,700 pounds were discharged into water in 1999, compared to 347,450 pounds in 1998. Water releases were within already-regulated permissible limits.

"Our releases are down somewhat from 1998, the first year our industry was required to report TRI releases to EPA," said Dale Heydlauff, vice president - environmental affairs for AEP. "This closely corresponds to a small decrease in the amount of electricity generated and coal consumed in 1999 from the previous year, the determining factors in our total emissions.

"AEP is one of the nation´s largest generators of electricity and the majority of our electricity -- and the majority of the nation´s electricity -- comes from coal," Heydlauff said. "It´s not surprising that our TRI emissions are high in volume, because of the amount of coal we consume to create reliable, affordable electricity for our customers. But it is important to note that the U.S. EPA’s 1998 report to Congress indicates that generally, emissions from utilities -- while high in volume -- are low in risk to public health."

EPA´s 1998 report to Congress is available on EPA´s web site (http://www.epa.gov/ttncaaa1/t3rc.html).

Information further explaining AEP’s TRI-related releases, the company’s Right-to-Know program and AEP´s environmental performance report, describing programs and practices adopted by the company to mitigate its impact on the environment, are accessible on the company´s web site (http://www.aep.com/Environmental/rtk/). Information is also available by calling the company´s number listed in the telephone directory. In addition, company officials at each AEP power plant are available to talk with interested individuals and provide additional details of the plant´s operations and the efforts being undertaken to protect public health and the environment.

Earlier this month, AEP completed its merger with Central & South West Corp., a Dallas-based public utility holding company. TRI data for 1999 from CSW´s power plants is reported separately to the EPA. The information is also available on AEP´s web site (http://www.aep.com/Environmental/rtk/).

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP is one of the United States´ largest generators of electricity with more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity. AEP is also one of the nation´s leading wholesale energy marketers and traders. AEP delivers electricity to more than 4.8 million customers in 11 states -- Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The company serves more than 4 million customers outside the U.S. through holdings in Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services, energy management and telecommunications.

For more information contact:

Pat D. Hemlepp
Manager, Media Relations
American Electric Power

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