EPA agrees to rule on complaint over Seneca landfill gas power plant in N.Y.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will give notice in the Aug. 17 Federal Register of a proposed consent decree to address a lawsuit filed by Concerned Citizens of Seneca County and Dixie D. Lemmon over permitting for a landfill-gas-fired power facility.

On March 25 in federal court, the plaintiffs filed the complaint in this case alleging that Gina McCarthy, in her official capacity as Administrator of the EPA, failed to perform a non-discretionary duty to grant or deny within 60 days a petition submitted by plaintiffs. In their petition, plaintiffs requested that EPA object to a Clean Air Act Title V permit issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to the Seneca County Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility, for purposes of operating a landfill gas-to-energy facility in Seneca Falls, New York.

The proposed consent decree would establish a deadline for EPA to respond to this petition. Written comments on the proposed consent decree must be filed within 30 days after the Federal Register notice.

Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, EPA would agree to sign a response to the petition by Dec. 9, 2016. The proposed consent decree also provides for the possibility that certain circumstances could delay compliance with that deadline, and provides a framework for extending that deadline.

The facility under dispute is the Seneca Energy II LLC landfill gas-to-energy facility located near New York State Route 414 in Seneca Falls, Seneca County, New York. Plaintiffs’ petition alleges, among other things, that the Title V permit issued by the state is based on an incomplete permit application, fails to include adequate monitoring and reporting of compliance with air quality requirements, and illegally sanctions the violation of applicable requirements under the Clean Air Act. In September 2013, plaintiffs filed their Petition with the Administrator seeking her and EPA’s objection to the permit.

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.