EPA proposes to okay regional haze extension for Glatfelter in Ohio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to extend the compliance date for the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) emission limits for SO2 at the P.H. Glatfelter Co. facility submitted as part of Ohio’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision on April 14, 2014.

Specifically, EPA said in a notice to be published in the Dec. 9 Federal Register that it is proposing to extend the compliance date for the SO2 emission limits applicable to the coal-fired Boilers No. 7 and No. 8 at Glatfelter by 25 months, from Dec. 31, 2014, to Jan. 31, 2017. EPA concluded that the revision meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act and the regional haze rule and because BART requirements continue to be met.

Comments must be received within 30 days after publication of this Dec. 9 notice.

In July 2012, EPA approved Ohio’s Regional Haze SIP, which included the applicability of BART to the state’s only non-utility BART source, Glatfelter, in Chillicothe, Ohio. The BART requirement specified that two of the coal -ired boilers at this facility, No. 7 and No. 8, install control technology to limit the amount of SO2 emissions. The compliance date for BART emission reductions was scheduled to be Dec. 31, 2014. The compliance date was aligned with Glatfelter’s expected compliance date for the Industrial Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements finalized by EPA in May 2011.

In February 2014, Ohio EPA received a request from Glatfelter to extend the original compliance date to Jan. 31, 2017. The extension request is based on the litigation, revision and new compliance date associated with the Industrial Boiler MACT. Under EPA regulations, BART is to be implemented “as expeditiously as practicable, but in no event later than 5 years after approval of the implementation plan revision.” The required compliance date is July 2, 2017.

Ohio EPA supplemented its original submittal on July 27, 2015, with a revised federally enforceable permit for Glatfelter that included the new compliance date. Ohio EPA made the federally enforceable permit available for public comment on June 6, 2015, and comments were accepted through July 7, 2015. The Ohio EPA consulted the affected Federal Land Managers and included them in the public comment process. Two comments were received and those comments, along with Ohio EPA’s responses were included in the July 27, 2015, submittal.

The extension is justified by an expeditious schedule for the installation of multiple control technologies to meet the Boiler MACT, EPA said.

Headquartered in York, Pa., Glatfelter is a global manufacturer of specialty paper and engineered products.

Said Glatfelter in its Nov. 3 quarterly Form 10-Q statement: “We will incur material capital costs to comply with new air quality regulations including the U.S. EPA Best Available Retrofit Technology rule (BART; otherwise known as the Regional Haze Rule) and the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule (Boiler MACT). These rules will require process modifications and/or installation of air pollution controls on boilers at two of our facilities. We have begun converting or replacing four coal-fired boilers to natural gas and upgrading site infrastructure to accommodate the new boilers, including connecting to gas pipelines. The total cost of these projects is estimated at $85 million to $90 million of which $25.1 million has been spent to date. The balance of the costs will be incurred substantially over the next eighteen months.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said in an Aug. 29 notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that it recently issued an air permit to P.H. Glatfelter for the construction of two Babcock & Wilcox (372.6 and 358.3 MMBtus per hour each) natural-gas fired boilers. The permit also covers the installation of a hydrated lime injection system to reduce HCl emissions from Power Boiler No. 5 at the Spring Grove facility ln York County, Pa. “As part of the project, three (3) coal fired power boilers will also be decommissioned,” the notice said. 

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.