NILES POWER PLANT Company applies to continue dredging

The deadline for comments on the application is Feb. 11.
NILES -- A Pennsylvania company that's performed routine dredging at the city's power plant for the past 10 years wants to continue the job.
Orion Power MidWest, based in Canonsburg, filed application this week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to renew its 10-year permit to perform the work.
The application says the company would perform maintenance dredging as needed at the Niles Power Plant off of Belmont Avenue.
Linda Malsch, who works in the permits department of the corps' office in Pittsburgh, said the agency will review the application and accept comments for and against the work until Feb. 11.
"The company had the permit before, and simply wants to renew," she said. "But we don't renew them automatically."
Looking ahead
If the permit is approved, Orion would periodically remove accumulated sediment from the right bank of the Mahoning River at the plant's intake valve. The plant takes in water from the river to cool the generating units.
The corps' district engineers have determined the work would not likely affect the "continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species," the application states.
During each dredging, Orion would remove about 2,500 cubic yards of sediment using either a clamshell bucket or a vacuum dredge.
Malsch said if the application is approved, a new permit could be issued in as little as one day after the Feb. 11 deadline.
Anyone interested in commenting on the application can call Malsch at (412) 395-7157, e-mail her at or mail responses to her at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, 1000 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222-4186. Refer to CELRP-OR-F 200400076 in all responses.