A 20-MW facility in Ford Heights, Ill., that burns waste tires to produce power is to be shut down to resolve allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Clean Air Act violations.

An agreement reached with the plant’s owner, Geneva Energy, on the terms of a consent decree will resolve alleged violations of the Ford Heights Facility’s construction permit, including monitoring and reporting requirements and emission limits established for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, particulate matter, and opacity.

As part of the consent decree, Geneva will also withdraw all permits and permit applications submitted to Illinois EPA and surrender all sulfur dioxide allowances. "Based on an analysis of financial information, the government concluded that Geneva is insolvent and unable to pay a civil penalty," the EPA said in a statement.

The consent decree also resolves Clean Air Act violations by NAES Corp., an operations consultant at the facility during a 14-month period in 2008-2009. NAES will pay a $185,000 civil penalty.

The 20-MW tire combustion facility in Cook County was originally built in 1995 and temporarily ceased operations in January 2004. It generates power by burning whole tires, tire shred (17,000 pounds per hour), and natural gas in a boiler. According to the EPA, the facility’s boiler is outfitted with a selective non-catalytic reduction system, a bag house, and a lime scrubber with two demisting sections.

Sources: POWERnews, EPA

This story was originally published on Feb. 27