US EPA's new proposal to Four Corners Power Plant

US Environmental Protection Agency
Region 9: Air Programs

Air Actions on Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Generating Station

EPA’s new proposal to Four Corners Power Plant cuts more NOx emissions, protects health, saves jobs Arizona Public Service lauded for saving Native American jobs, environment

SAN FRANCISCO 2/11/2011 – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a supplemental proposal to reduce emissions from the Four Corners Power Plant. The new proposal will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from approximately 45,000 tons per year to 5,800 tons per year, 3,200 tons less than EPA’s initial proposal. The proposal will also work to protect public health in the area by ensuring residents have cleaner air with fewer harmful pollutants.

Today’s action follows EPA’s initial October proposal to require pollution controls at the Four Corners Power Plant. In response to that proposal, Arizona Public Service put forward an alternative requiring plant operators to install Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) on two of the five coal-fired boilers and shut down the three older ones. SCR is the most stringent pollution control technology available for this type of facility.

“The new proposal controls emissions better, while costing less and preserving jobs”, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This plant is the nation’s largest source of nitrogen oxides. By reducing its emissions by 87% – rather than our initial proposal of 80% – we will all be able to see the results and breathe cleaner, healthier air.”

Four Corners Power Plant and the Navajo Mine which supplies its coal, employ roughly 1000 people, 75% of whom are Native American. Both facilities have pledged “No Layoffs” if Units 1-3 are closed.

Today’s proposal would reduce visibility impact from Four Corners Power Plant by an average 72% at the national parks and wilderness areas. Every year over 280 million people visit our nation’s most treasured parks and wilderness areas. Yet, many visitors aren’t able to see the spectacular vistas because of the veil of white or brown haze that hangs in the air, reducing visibility and dulling the natural beauty.

EPA is requesting comment on today’s proposal in addition to the October 2010 proposal by May 2, 2011. Members of the public in the Four Corners area will have four opportunities to attend open houses and public hearings during the week of March 28, 2011. For additional information on the proposed rulemaking and opportunities to provide input, please go to: http://www.epa.gov/region9/air/navajo/

Media Contact: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

February 11, 2011 – Supplemental Notice for Public Comment

EPA Supplements October 2010 Proposal for Best Available Retrofit Technology for Four Corners Power Plant with Alternative Option to Result in Greater Emissions Reductions and Visibility Improvement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes to allow Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP) to close Units 1 – 3 by 2014 and to meet a NOx limit of 0.098 lb/MMBtu on Units 4 and 5 by July 31, 2018, achievable with the installation and operation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR), in lieu of meeting the emission limits in our October 19, 2010 proposed rulemaking for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). EPA’s analysis of this alternative emission control strategy and our determination that the alternative will result in more progress than our October 2010 proposal towards our national visibility goal at lower cost, is included in the Supplemental Notice.

EPA is accepting comments on this Supplemental Notice concurrently with our October 19, 2010 proposed BART determination. The comment period for the October 2010 proposal and the February 2011 Supplemental Notice both close on May 2, 2011.

Final Actions:  EPA Finalizes Clean Air Plan for Navajo Generating Station

February 25, 2010: Final action on Source-specific Federal Implementation Plan for Navajo Generating Station

EPA finalized a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate emissions from the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. The purpose of the FIP is to ensure protection of tribal air resources. The plan previously followed emissions limits established in the Arizona State Implementation Plan. However, EPA’s promulgation of the Tribal Authority Rule clarified that State air quality regulations generally could not be extended to facilities located on the reservation. This FIP establishes federally enforceable emissions limitations for sulfur dioxide, total particulate matter, and opacity, and sets a control measures requirement for dust.

http://www.epa.gov/region9/air/navajo/

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