Illinois EPA settles air permit issues with Kincaid Generation

In an effort to resolve a long-running battle with Kincaid Generation LLC at the Illinois Pollution Control Board, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has worked out a settlement with the coal-fired generator.

The Kincaid Station is a coal-fired plant with two generating units. The initial Clean Air Act Permit Program (CAAPP) permit for it was issued by the Illinois EPA in September 2005. The permit addressed the applicable emission standards and requirements that existed at the time it was issued. In a subsequent appeal to the Illinois Pollution Control Board, Kincaid Generation challenged the applicability of certain legal requirements and the imposition of certain requirements for monitoring in the CAAPP permit. In the years since the filing of the appeal, the issued permit has been stayed in its entirety.

The stay has acted to prevent the renewal and revision of the CAAPP permit for the Kincaid Station, which would have enabled the CAAPP permit to address new rules and other relevant developments.

The Illinois EPA on July 1 went out for public comment until July 30 on a settlement of issues for the existing permit. “The initial steps to advancing the development of an appropriate CAAPP permit for this source is to provide for the effectiveness of a CAAPP permit and the resolution of the permit appeal,” the agency noted. “The CAAPP permit for the source can and must then be brought up-to-date by the Illinois EPA through permit reopening and, as needed, additional permit revisions.”

The Kincaid Station is located four miles west of the Village of Kincaid on Route 104. In addition to two Babcock and Wilcox coal-fired boilers, this plant has ancillary equipment and operations, including coal handling, coal processing, fly ash, natural gas heating and gasoline storage.

After this settlement and the related revisions to the existing permit are presumably approved, then the parties will need to address permit changes needed due to air regulation changes made since 2005. For the coal-fired boilers, two regulations have been identified as needing to be addressed in the reopening proceeding: the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the Clean Air Interstate Rule. For the auxiliary boiler, the reopening must address the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Boilers and Process Heaters at Major Sources.

The applicable requirements set by construction permits issued since 2005 for projects at the Kincaid Station will also need be addressed in the reopening, since construction permits are issued under Title I of the Clean Air Act. The Illinois EPA will initiate the formal process of permit reopening in accordance with the requirements of the CAAPP immediately following issuance of this planned significant permit modification and parallel permit revisions.

In an example of the changes in the original permit, the initial permit would have explicitly required the source to maintain records of emissions of mercury (Hg), hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF). In its appeal to the board, Kincaid Generation challenged the authority to require such recordkeeping. At the time the initial permit was issued, emissions of Hg, HCl, and HF were not yet regulated by any federal or state regulations. The explicit requirements for recordkeeping for emissions of Hg, HCl and HF have now been removed from the permit. Notably, recordkeeping for emissions of Hg and HCl is now required by the general language of Condition 5.6.1. This is because both Hg and HCl are now “regulated pollutants” for purposes of Annual Emission Reports. Because the source is now required to maintain records for emissions of HCl, the removal of HF from Condition 5.6.1 is of minor significance because HCl serves as a surrogate for HF.

The initial CAAPP permit does not address new control systems or equipment installed after 2005 and any associated ancillary operations. This includes any Fuel Additive systems and Sorbent Injection systems or Fly Ash Handling equipment that will be addressed as part of the reopening of this permit.

Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) in August 2013 completed the sale of Kincaid and two other power plants to Energy Capital Partners II LLC. Kincaid Generation, which operates in the PJM Interconnection market, owns this approximately 1,158-MW facility.

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.