EPA agrees to respond by February on permit appeal for Pirkey coal plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will give notice in the Oct. 21 Federal Register of a proposed consent decree to address a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Integrity Project and Sierra Club alleging that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy failed to perform a non-discretionary duty to grant or deny within 60 days a petition submitted by plaintiffs in October 2014.

That petition requested that EPA object to a revised Clean Air Act Title V permit issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to Southwestern Electric Power (SWEPCO)for operation of the coal-fired H.W. Pirkey Power Plant in Harrison County, Texas. The proposed consent decree would establish a deadline for EPA to take such action.

Written comments on the proposed consent decree must be received within 30 days after the Oct. 21 notice publication date.

Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, EPA would agree to sign its response granting or denying the petition filed by the plaintiffs regarding H.W. Pirkey on or before Feb. 12, 2016. EPA would deliver notice of EPA’s response to the Office of the Federal Register for review and publication following the signing of this response. 

Pirkey is a single unit, lignite-fired, 675-MW plant that began commercial operation in 1985. SWEPCO is an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP).

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.