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Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

UtiliCorp Admits Wrongdoing, Pays Environment Fine

LCG, March 16, 2001--UtiliCorp United Inc. said yesterday that it would pay $1.125 million in fines and penalties for violation of environmental laws in Nebraska. While admitting its wrongdoing, the company sought to distance itself from the employees guilty of the infractions.

UtiliCorp said the infractions were "violation of environmental reporting requirements by several employees of a former division, Omaha-based PeopleService, in managing the analysis of wastewater treatment operations for several communities in eastern Nebraska."

"Although the actions of this small group of employees, which were clearly wrong, took place without the knowledge of UtiliCorp's management, we nonetheless acknowledge that the violations occurred and have worked openly and cooperatively with the United States Attorney's Office to arrive at asatisfactory settlement," said James G. Miller, a UtiliCorp senior vice president.

To settle the claims, UtiliCorp will pay $150,000 to the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund as a community service; $750,000 to Back to the River, Inc. as an additional community service; and a $100,000 criminal fine. The company will also pay $125,000 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to settle civil liability.

"No environmental harm as a result of the violations was ever documented," Miller said. "Theseemployees violated UtiliCorp's express policies and practices, and we're saddened that their irresponsible actions resulted in the first-ever serious environmental citation against our company."

The charges against the employees included making false reports and statements regarding theiranalyses of wastewater under the Clean Water Act. In the majority of cases, the samples submitted tolaboratories had been taken without using the appropriate sampling techniques. In some cases, thewastewater either had not been analyzed or the test results had been falsified.

Miller said UtiliCorp didn't learn of the violations until two and one-half years after it sold PeopleService to its employees.

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