Pennsylvania gets extra year to decide on prison boilers

The U.S. Department of Justice said in an Aug. 17 Federal Register notice that an amended consent decree has been filed in a federal court related to a coal-to-gas switching deal that it has previously worked out with a Pennsylvania state agency.

The amended decree was lodged Aug. 13 with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Under the March 2011 original decree, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the state Department of General Services agreed to control particulate matter emissions at its Huntingdon facility by shutting down coal-fired boilers, installing air emission controls on the existing units, or converting the coal-fired boilers to natural gas-fired boilers by June 30, 2012.

The state did not meet the deadline. The proposed amendment requires it to either shut the units or convert them to natural gas by June 30, 2013. The state will also pay a civil of $39,000. Units 1-4 at the prison can keep burning coal for the extra year.

The Department of Justice will take comment on this change for 30 days.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.