FE 2022 Annual Report

equipment, emissions monitoring and fees, remediation and permitting at our facilities. These expenditures have been significant in the past and may increase in the future. We may be forced to shut down other facilities or change their operating status, either temporarily or permanently, if we are unable to comply with these or other existing or new environmental requirements, or if the expenditures required to comply with such requirements are unreasonable. Moreover, new environmental laws or regulations including, but not limited to GHG Emissions, CWA effluent limitations imposing more stringent water discharge regulations, or other changes to existing environmental laws or regulations may materially increase our costs of compliance or accelerate the timing of capital expenditures or other capital-like investments. Our compliance strategy, including but not limited to, our assumptions regarding estimated compliance costs, although reasonably based on available information, may not successfully address future relevant standards and interpretations. If we fail to comply with environmental laws and regulations or new interpretations of longstanding requirements, even if caused by factors beyond our control, that failure could result in the assessment of civil or criminal liability and fines. In addition, any alleged violation of environmental laws and regulations may require us to expend significant resources to defend against any such alleged violations. Due to the uncertainty of control technologies available to reduce GHG emissions, any legal obligation that requires substantial reductions of GHG emissions could result in substantial additional costs, adversely affecting cash flows and profitability, and raise uncertainty about the future viability of fossil fuels, particularly coal, as an energy source for new and existing electric generation facilities. The EPA is Conducting NSR Investigations at Generating Plants that We Currently or Formerly Owned, Which Could Result in the Imposition of Fines We may be subject to risks from changing or conflicting interpretations of existing laws and regulations, including, for example, the applicability of the EPA's NSR programs. Under the CAA, modification of our existing and former generation facilities in a manner that results in increased emissions could subject our existing generation facilities to the far more stringent new source standards applicable to new generation facilities. The EPA has taken the view that many companies, including many energy producers, have been modifying emissions sources in violation of NSR standards during work considered by the companies to be routine maintenance. The EPA has investigated alleged violations of the NSR standards at certain of our existing and former generating facilities. We intend to vigorously pursue and defend our position, but we are unable to predict their outcomes, which could include the possible imposition of fines. We Are or May Be Subject to Environmental Liabilities, Including Costs of Remediation of Environmental Contamination at Current or Formerly Owned Facilities, Which Could Have a Material Adverse Effect on Our Results of Operations and Financial Condition We may be subject to liability under environmental laws for the costs of remediating environmental contamination of property now or formerly owned or operated by us and of property contaminated by hazardous substances that we may have generated regardless of whether the liabilities arose before, during or after the time we owned or operated the facilities. We are currently involved in a number of proceedings relating to sites where hazardous substances have been released and we may be subject to additional proceedings in the future. We also have current or previous ownership interests in sites associated with the production of gas and the production and delivery of electricity for which we may be liable for additional costs related to investigation, remediation and monitoring of these sites. Remediation activities associated with our former MGP operations are one source of such costs. Citizen groups or others may bring litigation over environmental issues including claims of various types, such as property damage, personal injury, and citizen challenges to compliance decisions on the enforcement of environmental requirements, such as opacity and other air quality standards, which could subject us to penalties, injunctive relief and the cost of litigation. We cannot predict the amount and timing of all future expenditures (including the potential or magnitude of fines or penalties) related to such environmental matters, although we expect that they could be material. In addition, there can be no assurance that any liabilities, losses or expenditures we may incur related to such environmental liabilities or contamination will be covered under any applicable insurance policies or that the amount of insurance will be adequate. In some cases, a third party who has acquired assets including operating and deactivated nuclear power stations from us has assumed the liability we may otherwise have for environmental matters related to the transferred property. If the transferee fails to discharge the assumed liability or disputes its responsibility, a regulatory authority or injured person could attempt to hold us responsible, and our remedies against the transferee may be limited by the financial resources of the transferee. We Could be Exposed to Private Rights of Action Relating to Environmental Matters Seeking Damages Under Various State and Federal Law Theories Which Could Have an Adverse Impact on Our Results of Operations, Financial Condition, Cash Flows and Business Operations Private individuals may seek to enforce environmental laws and regulations against us and could allege personal injury, property damages or other relief. For example, claims have been made against certain energy companies alleging that CO2 emissions from power generating facilities constitute a public nuisance under federal and/or state common law. While FirstEnergy is not a party to this litigation, it, and/or one of its subsidiaries, could be named in other actions making similar allegations. An unfavorable ruling in any such case could result in the need to make modifications to our coal-fired generation or reduce emissions, suspend operations or pay money damages or penalties. Adverse rulings in these or other types of actions could 18