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Asbestos Exposures at AES Jennison – Bainbridge, New York

The AES Jennison power-generating station is located along Route 7 in Bainbridge, New York. Jennison was constructed and operated by the New York State Electric & Gas Corporation. It went online in 1945, serving a limited but sizeable Central New York market in Chenango County. The plant featured four coal-fired stoker boilers that delivered steam to General Electric turbines. In 1999, Jennison was sold to AES. Today, it sits idle, after serving Central New York for over 50 years, from 1945 to 2000.

Operations at AES Jennison revolved around several core pieces of equipment. To produce electricity for Chenango County’s grid, workers operated and maintained critical plant machinery that worked in tandem to generate power. Four coal-fired boilers were installed on the Bainbridge property. Using pulverized coal and recycled tires, these boilers created thermal energy that was sent to Jennison’s General Electric turbines. As the turbines spun, the energy created from these machines was sent to a turbo generator, which converted the energy into useable power.

Like many other power plants, AES Jennison installed and maintained emergency auxiliary equipment. Smaller boilers, furnaces and gas-fueled turbines were installed at the plant in the event of damage to the core equipment. Additionally, numerous of pieces of equipment that supported these power-generating machines, including pumps, valves, air compressors, condensers and tanks were installed throughout Jenison, to regulate and move various fluids and chemicals. Due to the around-the-clock operations at Jennison, all of this equipment was highly monitored and regularly maintained.

For decades, power-generating activities at the AES Jennison power plant required employees and independent contractors to work with and around various asbestos-containing products. To produce adequate amounts of thermal energy, Jennison’s boilers operated at dangerously high levels of heat. Generally, tradespeople would wrap the exterior of these boilers with asbestos insulation to protect workers from serious injuries. Many of the boiler’s internal components, including gaskets, packing and rope, were also made of asbestos. Other core equipment, including the turbines and turbo generators contained various pieces of internal and external insulation, as well as gaskets and packing.

During scheduled maintenance, Jennison employees and independent contractors inspected the plant’s machinery to ensure future, uninterrupted periods of power generation. Due to the size of much of this equipment, workers would sometimes climb into the machinery, working with asbestos materials in poorly ventilated spaces. These overhauls required workers to systematically inspect and maintain nearly every piece of equipment installed at the power plant. Hundreds of pieces of equipment were overhauled, including the plant’s pumps and valves. This work involved removing asbestos insulation from the product, and scraping out worn asbestos gaskets and packing. After the equipment was inspected and clean, fresh asbestos products were fabricated, fitted and installed.

Many individuals present at power plants between the 1950s and 1990s were regularly exposed to vast amounts of asbestos dust. Emergency maintenance and scheduled overhauls exposed workers to millions of fibers of asbestos dust. Raw fiber, gaskets, packing, seals, and rope were installed on nearly every piece of machinery. Additionally, research has shown that individuals living near the Jennison plant are at risk of developing serious lung diseases.

If you or a loved one worked at or lived near the AES Jennison plant and have developed mesothelioma, lung cancer or another an asbestos-related disease, please call today for a free consultation.

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