EPA proposes new regional haze compliance plan for Texas power plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will in the Jan. 4 Federal Register propose a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) in Texas to address the remaining outstanding requirements that are not satisfied by a Texas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission.

Specifically, the EPA proposes SO2 limits on 29 mostly coal-fired Electric Generating Units (EGUs) located at 14 Texas facilities to fulfill requirements for the installation and operation of the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for SO2.

To address the requirement for NOX BART for Texas EGU sources, EPA is proposing a FIP that relies upon two other EPA rulemakings, one already final and one proposed, which together will establish that participation in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) continues to qualify as an alternative to NOX BART for EGUs in Texas.

EPA is also proposing to disapprove the portion of the Texas Regional Haze SIP that addresses the BART requirement for EGUs for Particulate Matter (PM) and proposing a FIP with PM BART limits for EGUs at 29 EGUs located at 14 Texas facilities, based on existing practices and control capabilities.

In addition, the agency proposes to reconsider and re-propose disapproval of portions of several SIP revisions submitted to satisfy the requirement to address interstate visibility transport for six NAAQS and that the FIP emission limits it is proposing meet the interstate visibility transport requirements for these NAAQS.

Comments on these proposals will be taken for 60 days beyond Jan. 4. 

On Jan. 5, 2016, EPA took final action on nearly all portions of a Regional Haze SIP submittal submitted by the State of Texas on March 31, 2009. In that final rule, it did not take action on the portion of the submittal that was intended to satisfy BART requirements for EGUs. In an earlier, separate action, it issued a limited disapproval of the Texas Regional Haze SIP concerning EGU BART due to Texas’ reliance on the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). The EGU BART requirements for NOX and SO2 remain unmet following the limited disapproval, and Texas has not submitted a revised SIP to address the deficiencies.

EPA writes in the Jan. 4 Federal Register notice: “While we previously proposed to approve the portion of the Regional Haze SIP that was intended to address whether EGUs in Texas must install and operate BART for PM, that part of the proposed action was not finalized. In connection with changed circumstances on how Texas EGUs are able to satisfy NOX and SO2 BART, we are now proposing to disapprove the portion of the Texas Regional Haze SIP that evaluated the PM BART requirement for EGUs. The FIP we are proposing today addresses the EGU BART requirement and addresses these deficiencies in the Texas Regional Haze SIP.”

Power plants and units subject to BART include:

  • Big Brown 1 & 2;
  • Coleto Creek 1;
  • Fayette Power 1 & 2;
  • Harrington 061B & 062B;
  • Martin Lake 1, 2 & 3;
  • Monticello 1, 2 & 3;
  • Calaveras, J T Deely 1 & 2; O W Sommers 1 & 2; and
  • W A Parish WAP4, WAP5 & WAP6.

For the coal-fired EGUs without an existing scrubber, EPA has identified four potential SO2 control technologies: coal pretreatment; Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI); Spray Dryer Absorber (SDA); and wet Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD.) For the coal-fired EGUs with an existing underperforming scrubber it will examine whether that scrubber can be upgraded.

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.