EPA settles with Deseret over Bonanza coal plant emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said July 2 that it has worked out a Clean Air Act settlement with Utah-based Deseret Generation & Transmission Co-operative resolving alleged violations at the coal-fired Bonanza power plant.

According to a complaint filed with the settlement, Deseret allegedly violated provisions of the New Source Performance Standards under the Clean Air Act by emitting excess particulate pollution at Bonanza.

The agreement requires Deseret to pay $35,000 in penalties and implement new procedures for controlling particulate emissions during startup and shutdown of the coal-fired boiler at Bonanza. Deseret will also finance a $260,000 vehicle replacement program to replace at least five fleet vehicles in the area to use natural gas.

“This settlement secures Deseret’s commitment to significantly reduce emissions of particulate pollution and visible emissions from the Bonanza plant during startup and shutdown events and improve visibility in the surrounding area,” said Mike Gaydosh, EPA’s enforcement director in Denver.

EPA alleged that Deseret’s pollution control device was bypassed during startup and shutdown events resulting in excess particulate matter emissions. As part of the settlement, Deseret has agreed to route emissions through the control device during startup and shutdown, resulting in significant emissions reductions.

Bonanza, which at one point last decade Deseret wanted to expand with a new coal-fired unit, gets its coal via dedicated rail line from a Deseret coal mine in nearby Colorado. The GenerationHub database says the plant’s single coal unit has a nameplate capacity of 500 MW and a net summer capacity of 458 MW.

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.