Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Coal, Emissions

PA coal-fired power plant subject to hourly SO2 limits

The Homer City Generating Station, a nearly 2 GW coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, will now be subject to an hourly limit for sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution. After appeals by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club, the power plant will be limited to sulfur dioxide emissions of 6,360 pounds per hour.

Earthjustice initially filed appealed the air quality permit for the power plant in 2012. To settle the issue, the plant accelerated air quality modeling to determine the impacts of SO2, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection agreed to a timeline to revise the permit to ensure compliance with the SO2 health standard.

The DEP limited combined SO2 emissions from the three coal-fired units at the plant to 6,630 pounds per hour, including periods of startup and shutdown, and prohibiting more than one unit starting up at a time. The Sierra Club filed a new appeal because the emission rate contained a typographical error, and the DEP modified the permit to its current emission standard.

Homer City Generating Station has been a frequent target for emissions. In 2010, the plant was the largest source of SO2 emissions, reaching 109,000 tons. The company recently awarded a contract to Alstom for NID Dry Flue Gas Desulphurization Systems for two of the plant’s three units.

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