EPA Proposes Finding Northampton County PA Coal Power Plant Causes SO2 Air Pollution Violations in NJ

Coal Power PlantUPDATE: On October 31, 2011 the EPA Issued its final response to the New Jersey Petition, finding that the coal-fired Portland Generating Station in Upper Mount Bethel Township, PA is emitting air pollutants in violation of the interstate transport provisions of the Clean Air Act. EPA found that the plant’s SO2 emissions significantly contribute to nonattainment and interfere with maintenance of the 1-hour SO2 national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) in New Jersey. The EPA is establishing emission limitations and compliance schedules to ensure that the plant will eliminate its significant contribution to SO2 pollution in New Jersey. See our post of November 4, 2011.

The U.S. EPA is proposing to formally find that the coal-fired Portland Generating Station in Upper Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, is causing interstate air pollution in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.  It also proposes to impose emission limitations to force substantial reductions of sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant.

In its “Response to Petition from New Jersey Regarding SO2 Emissions from the Portland Generating Station”, EPA proposes to issue a finding that emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the Portland Plant significantly contribute to nonattainment and interfere with maintenance of the 1-hour SO2 national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) in New Jersey. This finding is proposed in response to a petition submitted by the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) on September 17, 2010. EPA is also proposing emission limitations and compliance schedules to significantly reduce SO2 emissions from the plant.
Coal Power Plant air pollution model According to the NJDEP petition and the proposed EPA finding,emissions from the Portland plant are causing SO2 concentrations far in excess of the NAAQS of 196 micrograms/m3.  EPA states that these violations require an 81 percent reduction in emissions from the Portland plant to reduce SO2 concentrations below the NAAQS.
EPA will receive comments on this proposed finding, which must be received on or before May 27, 2011. Submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0081, online at http://www.regulations.gov, by email to: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0081, or mail to: EPA Docket Center, EPA West (Air Docket), Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0081, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC  20460.
A public hearing will be held on April 27, 2011, in the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resources Education Center located in Oxford, Warren County, New Jersey 07863.

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