Consumers Energy has kept its promise to safely restore the Big Rock Point nuclear plant site to a greenfield -- free for unrestricted use by new generations of Michigan residents. Michigan's pioneer nuclear plant retired gracefully from the landscape after 35 years of safely and reliably providing electric power.
The Journey's End brochure
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Consumers Energy Environmental Policy
The life of any business cannot be separated from its impact on the natural environment in which it operates. From executive management throughout the organization, we take seriously our role in protecting and enhancing the environment and its interaction with the energy needs, the economic well-being and the quality of life of all the communities in which we operate and serve. Wherever we do business, our activities will be consistent with sound environmental practices.
Therefore, we will manage our businesses according to the following principles:
- Comply with environmental laws, regulations, and other requirements
- Understand and reduce, where practical, the environmental impacts of our activities and demonstrate that understanding in planning and executing our work
- Establish objectives, guidelines and detailed procedures as needed to implement this policy
- Provide adequate resources to meet our environmental commitments
- Encourage cost-effective opportunities to prevent pollution and to reuse and recycle used materials. Handle and dispose of waste materials in ways that minimize environmental risk
- Work with environmental agencies and organizations to ensure timely, reasonable and cost-effective resolutions to environmental issues
- Fully weigh potential environmental risks before transactions involving the sale, lease, transfer or purchase of assets
- Encourage employee participation in environmental protection and enhancement efforts
- Review conformity with these environmental principles on a regular basis to ensure compliance and continually improve environmental performance
- Communicate this policy and our environmental values to our employees and interested stakeholders
Greenhouse Gas Policy
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide have been associated with increases in global average temperature and potential climate change. Because a significant part of CMS Energy's business involves the combustion or delivery of fossil-based fuels (and associated actual or potential GHG emissions), we will operate in accordance with and promote principles that are consistent with protection of the environment.
- We will operate in accordance with all legal requirements applicable to our facilities
- We will evaluate non-mandatory GHG control, reduction and/or sequestration programs and other similar opportunities for participation in, on a case-by-case basis
- We will participate in policy development to ensure:
- Any mandatory GHG control requirements are developed on a national basis, and are consistent with international agreements
- GHG control requirements should be based on sound science and include:
- Market-based incentives
- Consideration of the cost and availability of technology, both for the control of GHGs and for the displacement of fossil fuels
- Both the industrial and the transportation sectors
- Credit for voluntary and/or early action and for sequestration activities
Mercury is an element. We do not create it. We cannot destroy it. It is a natural part of our planet that is found in soils, rocks, minerals and the oceans. It is released into the atmosphere through acts of nature and through manmade processes. In recent years, mercury emissions have become an environmental concern. In sufficient doses, mercury is a toxin that can affect the human nervous system.
Mercury is found in coal. A portion of this mercury is released into the air at coal-fired electric generating plants. The mercury is eventually deposited on the surface of the earth. Organisms in the water and on land convert a small fraction of the mercury to a more toxic form. It is this toxic form that can accumulate in the food chain. Consuming fish is the principal means of exposure for humans.
It follows that efforts to reduce mercury concentrations in fish focus on reducing mercury emissions into the atmosphere. In 2005, the United States became the first and only nation to regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired electric generating plants. Consumers Energy is committed to operating in accordance with all applicable regulations and promoting principles that are consistent with protecting the environment.
- Consumers Energy will operate in accordance with all legal requirements applicable to company facilities
- Consumers Energy will work with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, equipment suppliers and the utility industry to develop, test, certify and install mercury controls as necessary to be in compliance
- Consumers Energy will work with these same stakeholders to test, certify and install continuous mercury emission monitors on all applicable units by January 2009
- Consumers Energy will continue to participate in policy development to ensure:
- Mandatory mercury measurement and control requirements are developed and implemented that protect human health and the environment
- Mercury control requirements are based on sound science, engineering practice and state energy policy including
- coordination with the energy policy and needs of the state
- consideration of the cost and availability of technology for the control of mercury emissions from the variety of generating units and types of coal used within the state
- consideration of the economic climate and needs of the state
- market based incentives
- credit for early reductions that exceed federal requirements and/or are ahead of the federal milestone dates
3 E's - Environment, Energy and Economy
A clean environment, sustainable energy policy and solid economy are tightly linked.
Balancing these priorities - which we call the "3 E's" - is critical as Michigan and the federal government set policy and commit resources for the 21st century.
Each day, our employees step up to the challenge of safely providing reliable and affordable energy to customers from large cities to rural villages.
At the same time, in countless ways, our employees work to protect the quality of Michigan's priceless natural resources. The water we drink, the air we breathe and the fragile natural networks that support biodiversity are as important as the electricity and natural gas we bring to homes and businesses.
Environment, energy, economy - to us, these are inseparable priorities.
For more information on what we're doing to meet Michigan's future energy needs, download our brochure: Michigan's Energy Future.