The Greenidge Power Plant in Dresden, New York, was built in 1937 by the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG). Since 1999, the plant has been owned and operated by AES Corporation. At one time, the Greenidge Power consisted of six coal-fired boilers, which provided steam to power four turbine generators. The plant had a generating capacity of over 200 megawatts. In 1985, two turbine generators and three boilers were taken out of service. In 2009, another turbine and boiler were also taken out of service. Citing high fuel costs and decreased demand for electricity, AES shut down the Greenidge Power Plant in March 2011, with the intent to reopen it when conditions in the electricity market improved.
Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos-containing materials were utilized at Greenidge Power Plant as a component in dozens of materials, including pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation. Workers who handled asbestos-containing materials, are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Greenidge Power Plant utilized coal-fired boilers in order to produce steam. The steam was delivered through pipes to turbine generators, which produced electrical power. In order to minimize heat loss, boilers, generators, pipes and other equipment housed within the steam system were covered in asbestos-containing insulating materials. During repairs on the steam system, workers removed the insulation in order to access necessary equipment. When the repair procedure was completed, new asbestos-containing insulation was applied. Removing and applying insulation caused asbestos dust and fibers to become airborne.
The Greenidge Power Plant periodically went into a “shutdown” maintenance period. During a shutdown, maintenance work was performed on equipment in the steam system. Worn asbestos insulation was replaced with new insulation. This process was extremely messy and created large dust clouds. Many workers were not aware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust, and they carried on their work without wearing protective masks or clothing.
Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma. If you or a loved one once worked at the Greenidge Power Plant, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.
*Photograph of the Greenidge Power Plant is courtesy of: