Potomac River Environmental Investigation — In March 2013, NRG Potomac River LLC received notice that the District of Columbia Department of Environment (now renamed the Department of Energy and Environment, or DOEE) was investigating potential discharges to the Potomac River originating from the Potomac River Generating facility site, a site where the generation facility is no longer in operation. In connection with that investigation, DOEE served a civil subpoena on NRG Potomac River LLC requesting information related to the site and potential discharges occurring from the site. NRG Potomac River LLC provided various responsive materials. In January 2016, DOEE advised NRG Potomac River that DOEE believed various environmental violations had occurred as a result of discharges DOEE believes occurred to the Potomac River from the Potomac River Generating facility site and as a result of associated failures to accurately or sufficiently report such discharges. DOEE has indicated it believes that penalties are appropriate in light of the violations. NRG is currently reviewing the information provided by DOEE.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act Purported Class Actions — Three purported class action lawsuits have been filed against NRG Residential Solar Solutions, LLC, one in California and two in New Jersey. The plaintiffs generally allege misrepresentation by the call agents and violations of the TCPA, claiming that the defendants engaged in a telemarketing campaign placing unsolicited calls to individuals on the “Do Not Call List.” The plaintiffs seek statutory damages of up to $1,500 per plaintiff, actual damages and equitable relief. The Company is vigorously defending against these lawsuits. NRG requested and was granted a stay in the California case and one of the New Jersey cases pending a decision of an unrelated case by the U.S. Supreme Court, the results of which could materially affect these lawsuits.
El Segundo Environmental Liability — During the maintenance of breakers in 2012, the Company’s El Segundo plant exceeded California’s limit regarding SF6 losses. SF6 is an electrical insulator and GHG. On December 16, 2015, the Company entered into a settlement agreement with the California Air Resources Board thereby resolving the matter. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Company agreed to pay a penalty of $150,000 plus an additional $50,000 directed to clean air/clear air funding for a community college system.
California Department of Water Resources and San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sunrise Power Company LLC — On January 29, 2016, CDWR and SDG&E filed a lawsuit against Sunrise Power Company, along with NRG and Chevron Power Corporation. In June 2001, CDWR and Sunrise entered into a 10-year PPA under which Sunrise would construct and operate a generating facility and provide power to CDWR. At the time the PPA was entered into, Sunrise had a transportation services agreement, or TSA, to purchase natural gas from Kern River through April 30, 2018. In August 2003, CDWR entered into an agreement with Sunrise and Kern River in which CDWR accepted assignment of the TSA through the term of the PPA. After the PPA expired, Kern River demanded that any reassignment be to a party which met certain creditworthiness standards which Sunrise did not. As such, the plaintiffs have brought this lawsuit against the defendants alleging breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing and improper distributions. Plaintiffs generally claim damages of $1.2 million per month for the remaining 70 months of the TSA.
Note 23 — Regulatory Matters
NRG operates in a highly regulated industry and is subject to regulation by various federal and state agencies. As such, NRG is affected by regulatory developments at both the federal and state levels and in the regions in which NRG operates. In addition, NRG is subject to the market rules, procedures, and protocols of the various ISO and RTO markets in which NRG participates. These power markets are subject to ongoing legislative and regulatory changes that may impact NRG's wholesale and retail businesses.
In addition to the regulatory proceedings noted below, NRG and its subsidiaries are parties to other regulatory proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business or have other regulatory exposure. In management's opinion, the disposition of these ordinary course matters will not materially adversely affect NRG's consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.