Illinois EPA issues permit for Kincaid coal plant as part of settlement

On Feb. 5, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a settlement with the company, issued a modified Clean Air Act Permit Program (CAAPP) permit to Kincaid Generation LLC for the coal-fired Kincaid Generating Station.

Kincaid Generating Station is owned by Kincaid Generation and operated through its affiliate Kincaid Energy Services Co. LLC. The plant has two coal-fired boilers.

The CAAPP is Illinois’ operating permit program for sources of emissions under Title V of the federal Clean Air Act. It generally requires that the owner or operator of a major stationary source of emissions in Illinois apply for and obtain a CAAPP permit for the operation of such source. CAAPP permits contain conditions identifying applicable air pollution control requirements under the federal Clean Air Act and Illinois’ Environmental Protection Act.

The Illinois EPA issued the initial CAAPP permit for Kincaid Generating Station in September 2005. Kincaid Generation appealed this permit to Illinois’ Pollution Control Board, contending that a number of conditions in the permit were erroneous or unwarranted. In February 2006, the Board accepted Kincaid Generation’s petition for appeal and granted an administrative stay of the issued CAAPP permit in its entirety. Kincaid Generation and the Illinois EPA, with the assistance of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, have successfully undertaken discussions to resolve or settle this appeal.

Illinois EPA said in summarizing the criticism of one commenter in this case, a criticism shared by U.S. EPA: “This comment notes that there are serious deficiencies with the process Illinois EPA has undertaken to issue legally functional CAAPP permits for the Kincaid Plant and other Illinois coal-fired power plants. In this case, Illinois EPA is proposing to put into place until 2019 a CAAPP permit that omits many legally applicable requirements, based on an application submitted almost nineteen years ago and an initial permit that should have expired five years after it was first issued, in 2010. This has left unacceptable gaps in the permit’s conditions. The Statement of Basis notes that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (‘USEPA’) expressed concern in a similar CAAPP permit appeal that Illinois EPA’s stated intent to reopen the permit ‘lacks a sufficiently enforceable commitment.’”

Responding to that contention, the Illinois EPA said: “The Illinois EPA’s objective in this permitting action has been to achieve permit effectiveness and resolve the related CAAPP permit appeal involving the Kincaid Generating Station coal-fired power plant. The legal process for doing so is set forth in CAAPP’s procedures, which the Illinois EPA is obliged to follow. The Illinois EPA disagrees that there are deficiencies with the process set forth in the applicable laws and regulations. However, if any such deficiencies with the process exist, it is a product of the statutory and/or regulatory framework of the Title V permitting program, which largely derives from the Clean Air Act and federal regulations implementing the same, and cannot be cured by way of this permitting action.”

Kincaid (1,158 MW summer capacity) is one of the power plants that Dynegy (NYSE: DYN) would buy under a pending deal with Energy Capital Partners.

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.