HAYWARD -- An emission problem at the Russell City Energy Center has been fixed, and the power plant now complies with air quality rules, according to the regulating agency.

The plant's cooling tower had been releasing almost 10 times the allowed amount of water droplets that could contain particulate matter, according to a complaint filed earlier this year by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The district ordered plant owner Calpine to correct the problem by summer. Calpine beat that deadline by several months, adding a second layer of filters in the tower in April. The company reported its findings to the district in May after testing, said Calpine official Joe Ronan.

The plant is no longer violates air quality standards, an air district spokesman said.

"The problem is solved. They meet air district requirements," said Ralph Borrmann. "We're continuing to keep an eye on this, and the facility as a whole, doing periodic inspections and a lot of monitoring."

The 619-megawatt natural-gas facility began operating in August and generates enough energy to power 600,000 homes.

-- Rebecca Parr, Staff



Advertisement