Our sustainability strategy is outlined in our annual integrated report, which combines our sustainability actions with our financial results. One area featured is Entergy’s commitment to the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
Along with protecting air resources, we look for opportunities to reduce water use in our operations while evaluating water availability and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local permits and requirements.
Across our operations, Entergy’s water peer group monitors water issues, including quality and availability trends. We protect water resources by maintaining a compliance rate with state and federal permit requirements of at least 99.9% from year to year. In 2021, our compliance rate was 99.98%.
Since 2016, our Lewis Creek Power Plant has exceeded a water conservation goal of 30%, and the newly constructed neighboring Montgomery County Power Station employs cooling towers and a closed-loop cooling reservoir to decrease water usage. These two plants operate in a water-stressed area, and in 2021 we began evaluating a company-wide water reduction goal and committed to reduce water withdrawals for thermal cooling by a target amount by 2030.
In addition, fleet modernization minimizes our impact on water as newer plants use significantly less water than our legacy units. We also evaluate water risks from flooding as sea-level rises, coastal erosion, and subsidence in our coastal service area impact our region.
View our water use, management strategy and performance disclosures here.
Stormwater management is another focus area in Entergy’s conservation efforts. In New Orleans, a grant from the Environmental Initiatives Fund helped Urban Conservancy deploy the Front Yard Initiative, which provides neighborhood-level stormwater intervention by installing green stormwater infrastructure and removing paving.
We also support our sustainability strategy by partnering with our regulators to manage waste responsibly for the benefit of the environment and our communities. To address waste management and minimization, Entergy maintains a standard that outlines our basic philosophy and expectations. We reduce waste by repurposing or recycling unused or obsolete material such as scrap wire and metal.
In 2021, Entergy ceased the disposal of coal ash in ponds at the White Bluff and Independence plants and placed new bottom ash handling systems into service. This transition enabled Entergy to commence closure of the plants’ existing water recycle ponds following a “clean closure” strategy preferred by the EPA and Entergy’s environmental organization.
Entergy has a robust commodity recycling and investment recovery process. Supply chain manages the enterprise investment recovery program that aims to obtain the best return for assets that Entergy no longer needs. Instead of disposing of retired assets in landfills, this program facilitates recycling and repurposing of retired assets and components, selling surplus assets, and assessing market conditions and trends to ensure Entergy receives the maximum value in investment recovery sales, which will ultimately benefit our customers. In 2021, our sales totaled $13.5 million, and our cumulative sales over the last five years totaled $62.5 million. Historic data on our recycling actions can be found in our Performance Data Table.
In 2021, we recycled around 850,000 pounds of metals due to damage from Hurricane Ida. In addition, 22,482 wood poles were donated to members of our communities. Through our transformer recycling program, we recycled more than 1.1 million gallons of oil and more than 27 million pounds of metals.
Our Environmental Initiatives Fund also helps with waste prevention. In New Orleans, Entergy is working with Grounds Krewe, a nonprofit organization focused on waste prevention, to increase recycling efforts and expand the use of eco-friendly throws and consumable goods that highlight the Crescent City’s unique culture, including red beans, jambalaya mix and ground coffee. In 2022, we helped divert 13 tons of plastic beads, and 7,200 cans and plastic bottles from landfills and the city’s vulnerable drainage system. We supported the organization’s online Sustainable Throw Catalog. Catalog items are made from sustainable materials and biodegradable packaging and promote Louisiana culture and organizations. 106,000 sustainable throws were sold for the 2022 Mardi Gras season.
More on our supply chain sustainability practices is available here.
Material fines or penalties imposed for environmental non-compliance are disclosed in Entergy's SEC Form 10-K. Information on Entergy spills reported to the National Response Center can be reviewed here.