EPA Sues 2-GW Coal-Fired Homer Generating Plant for NSR Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a Clean Air Act complaint on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging that owners and operators of the 2-GW coal-fired Homer City Generating Station in Homer City, Indiana County, Pa., violated New Source Review (NSR) requirements.

The facility, located at 1750 Power Plant Rd., is operated by EME Homer City Generation LP and currently owned by eight individual limited liability corporations. Prior owners, Pennsylvania Electric Company and New York State Electric & Gas Corp., are also cited in the complaint.

Beginning in 1990, the plant’s owners and operators allegedly violated NSR requirements by making major modifications to the boiler units at the power plant and continuing to operate without first obtaining appropriate permits and installing and operating the “best available pollution control technologies” to reduce sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, the EPA said on Thursday.

“In addition, the complaint alleges that the defendants have not disclosed the plant’s major modifications, the need for best available control technologies, nor the appropriate emissions limits in their request for a Title V operating permit from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection,” the agency said. “Also, the defendants’ Title V permit did not include the required limits on emissions that would be achieved using the best available pollution control technologies.”

In its complaint, the government seeks injunctive relief, requiring the defendants to comply with all applicable Clean Air Act requirements, and a monetary penalty.

Since 1999, the EPA has pursued a compliance and enforcement strategy to address Clean Air Act NSR compliance issues at the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Many of these cases have resulted in settlements or are being argued in court.

In 2010, three entities were charged with similar complaints: The Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative (July), American Municipal Power (May), and Westar Energy (January).

Sources: EPA, POWERnews

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