EPA: 585-MW Ore. Coal Plant Violated Clean Air Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a notice of violation to Portland Gas and Electric (PGE), alleging that the company’s coal-fired Boardman facility in Oregon violated the Clean Air Act, including New Source Performance Standards and operating permit requirements.

“Modifications” made to the boiler at the 585-MW facility between 1998 and 2004 resulted in “increased emissions,” the agency said. The notice also alleges that the boiler has “no controls” to reduce sulfur dioxide.

PGE denied the allegation, saying in a statement that the company was operating with appropriate standards and permits. “We consult regularly with [Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)] and EPA regulators, and they were well aware that we were doing those modifications.”

EPA’s notice threatens civil penalties of up to $25,500 for each day the plant was operating without proper pollution controls. PGE said it would make its case to the EPA in a meeting within the next 30 days.

The company is in the process of shuttering or converting the plant to a cleaner source of energy by 2020. Earlier this year, however, the DEQ rejected PGE’s original plan. The plant, permitted to operate until 2040, produces 15% of the power delivered to PGE customers, it said.

Sources: PGE, EPA, POWERnews

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