Wyoming governor asks EPA for more time on regional haze plan

Wyoming Gov. Matthew Mead sent a June 13 letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting that the agency allow the necessary time for discussions regarding Wyoming’s regional haze state implementation plan (SIP).

The letter stated that the EPA’s short notice to the state of its revised proposal on Wyoming regional haze could result in significant utility rate increases, layoffs or coal-fired power plant closures. It said that EPA’s June 24 public hearing date, following so closely after the agency’s June 10 notification about this plan to the state, doesn’t allow enough time for the state, industry and local residents to analyze the new proposal and prepare for the hearing, including testimony.

“A rushed hearing is like no hearing at all because the state and others will not have a meaningful opportunity to participate with such short notice,” Mead wrote. “I request that EPA reschedule the public hearing date sixty days later than is currently scheduled.”

The letter also requests that EPA holds two public hearings in Wyoming to allow for greater public involvement, and that the deadline for the comment period be extended until 30 days after the last public hearing takes place.

“The SIP developed by the state is sensible, follows the intent of the regional haze rule, and will accomplish the goals of that rule by the compliance date,” the letter said. Mead said that the changes in EPA’s new proposal for emissions controls are more restrictive and would cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than under the SIP.

EPA, in the proposal issued on June 10, said it plans to disapprove the following:

  • The state’s NOx best available retrofit technology (BART) determinations for PacifiCorp‘s Dave Johnston Unit 3, PacifiCorp’s Jim Bridger Units 1 and 2, PacifiCorp’s Wyodak Unit 1, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Laramie River Station Units 1, 2, and 3.
  • The state’s NOx reasonable progress determination for PacifiCorp’s Dave Johnston Units 1 and 2.
  • The state’s Reasonable Progress Goals (RPGs).
  • The state’s monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements in Chapter 6.4 of the SIP.
  • Portions of the state’s long-term strategy (LTS) that rely on or reflect aspects of the regional haze SIP that are being disapproved.
  • The state’s SIP because it does not contain the necessary provisions to meet the requirements for the coordination of the review of the reasonably attributable visibility impairment (RAVI) and the regional haze LTS.

EPA proposed to approve the remaining aspects of the state’s January 2011 SIP submittal. It also previously sought comment on two alternative proposals related to the state’s NOx BART determination for PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Units 1 and 2. It proposed the promulgation of a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to address the deficiencies in the Wyoming regional haze SIP that it identified in the proposal. 

In lieu of the proposed FIP, or a portion thereof, EPA previously stated that it would propose approval of a SIP revision if the state submits such a revision and the revision matches the terms of the proposed FIP. EPA said it encouraged the state to submit a SIP revision to replace the FIP, either before or after its final action.

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.