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Asbestos Exposures at Kintigh Generating Station – Barker, New York

The Kintigh Generating Station, is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, in Barker, NY. Its 613’ concrete smokestack is visible for miles. The 675-megawatt facility, also known as Somerset, began operating in 1984. Kintigh was built by NYSEG, and later sold to the AES Corporation, a multi-national energy company, headquartered in Virginia.

Kintigh is a pulverized coal-burning relic from another era. At one time, Kintigh burned more than 5000 tons of coal, each day. Kintigh burned so much coal, that 15 miles of railroad track was constructed, to connect Kintigh with a railroad, used by coal suppliers in Pennsylvania. Just as coal came in, waste went out. Kintigh’s operations produced 1,250 tons of calcium sulfate, and 600 tons of ash each day.

Coal-burning generating stations, like Kintigh, also contributed heavily to global warming. Some scientists estimate that in the aggregate, coal-burning generating stations account for a staggering 41% of the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions. Kintigh was a heavy polluter. As recently as 2011, Kintigh released more than 3.7 million mass tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

At one time, Kintigh was Niagara’s County’s single largest commercial taxpayer. Kintigh also provided dozens of jobs for residents of Niagara County. In recent years, Niagara County’s revenue dwindled, as Kintigh’s fortunes foundered. In recent years, public and private interests have converged by creating intense pressure for Kintigh to convert to a cleaner fuel source, or shutter.

Today, the plant is a little-used asset of the Somerset Operating Company. As powerhouse workers know all too well, Kintigh has also left a legacy of catastrophic asbestos-related injuries. Like all powerhouses, Kintigh was loaded with asbestos-containing products and components.

For instance, a coal-fired Babcock & Wilcox drum boiler, with a Combustion Engineering precipitator, supplied steam to Kintigh’s General Electric turbine. This massive machinery was controlled and maintained with asbestos-containing: refractories, generators, valves, transformers, gaskets, compressors, tanks, condensers, cable, wire, and motors.

The companies who manufactured these asbestos-containing products were acutely aware of the dangers associated with their products. Yet, for decades, these companies prospered wildly, while thousands of powerhouse workers were needlessly exposed to carcinogenic asbestos fibers. As such, workers and laborers in powerhouses, like Kintigh, remain at elevated risks for developing mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Several of Levy Konigsberg’s attorneys hail from Upstate New York. As such, the firm is doggedly committed to helping residents of Upstate New York and their families. Levy Konigsberg recently obtained a $7.7 million verdict for an upstate man stricken with mesothelioma. The firm’s nationally renowned trial lawyers have also gotten multi-million dollar awards for workers injured in powerhouses, like Kintigh.

Levy Konigsberg is a pioneer of asbestos litigation. The firm has represented mesothelioma and lung cancer victims for over 30 years. Levy Konigsberg has achieved some of the nation’s highest verdicts on behalf injured powerhouse workers. If you, or a family member, has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, call Levy Konigsberg today. For over 30 years, we have held companies accountable, and fought for justice on behalf of asbestos victims and their families.

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