Utah Heal, Sierra Club to argue for tougher haze plan for Hunter, Huntington

Utah Heal and the Sierra Club are urging their members to appear at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public hearing Jan. 26 in Salt Lake City to advocate for more stringent haze requirements for a pair of coal plants operated by PacifiCorp.

“The EPA is coming to Salt Lake City to ask if Utahns think we should order Utah’s coal power plants to install state-of-the-art technologies to sharply reduce their emissions,” Utah Heal said in a Jan. 21 email to supporters.

At issue is a State Implementation Plan (SIP) for regional haze related to the coal-fired Hunter and Huntington power plants of PacifiCorp. PacifiCorp is part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and corporate parent Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A;BRK.B).

The environmental groups dislike an option where the Utah Department of Environmental Quality would credit to pollution reductions already made for nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides at two coal-fired power plants.

“Luckily, the alternative proposal the EPA is also considering would be much more protective,” Utah Heal said.

The EPA will begin taking public comment at 1 p.m. for four hours at the Salt Lake City public library and then again at the same location from 6 to 8 p.m. Members of the public can speak for up to five minutes each.

The EPA is proposing to take action pursuant to section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) on SIP revisions submitted by the State of Utah on June 4, 2015, and Oct. 20, 2015 to implement the regional haze program.

The State’s SIP revisions establish an alternative to best available retrofit technology (BART) controls at the two plants.

The CAA requires states to prevent any future and remedy any existing man-made impairment of visibility in national parks and wilderness areas designated as Class I areas, which include national parks and wilderness areas that are earmarked for special protection.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.