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GPU signs ozone-control study accord.

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 13, 1995--General Public Utilities Corp. today signed a sweeping agreement that will begin a 10-year research program into the chemical and meteorological characteristics of pollutants that damage the earth's ozone layer.

Known as the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO), the agreement will coordinate scientific assessments of ozone-related problems in North America. One of the first projects under NARSTO will study ozone pollution control in the Ozone Transport Region, a 12-state area from Maine to Virginia, including the District of Columbia.

GPU is committing $600,000 toward the estimated $30 million cost for the first three years of the project, which will focus on ozone concentrations in the Northeast, as well as in-kind materials and personnel time.

Representing GPU at the ceremony today was Robert C. Arnold, executive vice president-power supply for GPU Service Corp., a GPU subsidiary.

"This vital study will help us identify the sources of ozone, and how it is formed and transported into and within our region. Our goal is to develop reliable scientific findings that will lead us to cost-effective solutions toward reducing the levels of emissions that are precursors to ozone in our region," Arnold said.

Among the technical issues addressed by the program are:

- the relationship between atmospheric conditions, concentrations

of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and

resulting ozone in Northeastern urban areas,

- better understanding of how man-made sources of VOC and NOx from

both within and outside the region contribute to ozone

concentrations in urban areas, and

- the contribution of local and transported VOC and NOx from

agricultural and vegetative sources.

An early goal of the program is to enable the Ozone Transport region--which includes New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the area served by the GPU companies--to develop the science so that cost-effective means can be used to meet federal ozone concentration limits. In September 1994, the affected states, through the Ozone Transport Commission, agreed to a timetable for steps that would be taken to meet federal requirements.

That agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, will achieve reductions of VOC and NOx in two phases to meet legislative deadlines. It provides for finalization of the means by which reductions will be accomplished in the second phase depending upon information developed through additional research. It is that research that will be carried out as one of the first projects under NARSTO.

NARSTO is a joint public and private initiative begun several years ago by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility-sponsored research organization, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More than 100 governmental, industrial and academic organizations from the U.S., Canada and Mexico are expected to participate.

GPU is a registered electric utility holding company whose three operating subsidiaries--Jersey Central Power and Light, Metropolitan Edison and Pennsylvania Electric--provide electric service to nearly 2 million customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

CONTACT: GPU Corp., Parsippany, N.J.

John T. Fidler, 201/263-6479
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 13, 1995
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