GP Big Island removes shut coal boiler from air permit

GP Big Island LLC, which owns and operates a pulp and paper mill in Big Island near Lynchburg, Va., is removing a coal-fired boiler from its air permit after agreeing to shut the boiler, said the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

The GP Big Island mill produces corrugating medium from semi-chemical (sodium carbonate/sodium hydroxide) hardwood pulp and recycled fiber and linerboard from recycled fiber. GP became subject to requirements of Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) when air dispersion modeling demonstrated a visibility impact on the nearby James River Face Wilderness Area. GP was required to investigate the technical feasibility and economic impact of adding or replacing control equipment on BART-subject emission units under federal regional haze rules.

The current DEQ permit action, which is up for public comment until Oct. 1, is a reopening by DEQ to remove the #4 boiler (PWR04) from GP’s BART State Operating Permit (SOP). The initial BART SOP was issued in June 2008. The revised SOP will then be incorporated into Virginia’s State Implementation Plan (SIP).

GP has two emission units subject to BART: the #4 boiler (PWR04) and the #5 boiler (PWR05). PWR04 is a pulverized coal boiler. PWR05 is a multi-fuel stoker boiler burning wood, paper waste and coal. PWR04 was included in the initial BART SOP issued in June 2008. Since that time, GP has formally shut this boiler down by disconnecting it and signed a mutual determination for permanent shut down. The mutual determination was signed by GP and the DEQ in January. PWR05 will be the only remaining emissions unit in the BART SOP. All conditions relating to PWR05 will remain in the permit with no changes.

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.