EPA takes final action on regional haze issue for Cheswick coal plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will publish in the March 27 Federal Register a final limited approval and limited disapproval of a revision to the Pennsylvania State Implementation Plan (SIP) from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) related to the coal-fired Cheswick power plant.

This SIP revision addresses the SO2 and NOx Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) requirements for Boiler Number 1 of the Cheswick Generating Station in Allegheny County. EPA is finalizing a limited approval of the SIP revision for Cheswick’s SO2 and NOx BART requirements on the basis that the revision corrects an error in the SIP and strengthens the Pennsylvania SIP, while EPA is also finalizing a limited disapproval of this part of the SIP revision because the SIP revision relies on the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and not the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) which has replaced CAIR.

As EPA issued a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) for SO2 and NOx BART emission limitations for electric geneating units (EGUs) in Pennsylvania, which includes Cheswick, no further action by EPA is required to address the limited disapproval.

Cheswick is owned by NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG). Said the NRG website about the plant: “The Cheswick Generating Station is a fully scrubbed single-unit, coal-fueled generation station located on an 82-acre site in the borough of Springdale, approximately 18 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Cheswick, which began commercial operation in 1970, operates as a baseload facility. Since the station’s initial commissioning, additional environmental control systems have been installed to comply with more stringent emission requirements. Emissions controls include the flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) system (scrubber) designed to remove at least 98 percent of the sulfur dioxide from the exhaust, as well as reduce mercury emissions, an electrostatic precipitator and flue gas conditioning systems to remove particulate matter and a low-NOx system to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions.”

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.