March 7, 2012

EPA approves most of ND Clean Air Plan

By Michael Johnson, Editor

An announcement made by senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad, congressman Rick Berg, and Governor Jack Dalrymple on Friday was music to most of the area coal industries ears. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  agreed to most of the state’s clean air plan for regional haze. EPA officials met Friday with Conrad, Hoeven, and Berg and Dalrymple joining via phone, and agreed to adopt most of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for regional haze rather than a more costly federal plan. Through this agreement, the EPA will provide North Dakota with flexibility to implement sensible standards for improving visibility in selected areas of the state. The EPA’s decision does not approve the SIP for Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station in Underwood.  GRE’s North Dakota communication supervisor Lyndon Anderson said that GRE is about to release their latest analysis, which reflects the reduction in emissions since the installation of the DryFining equipment. The findings that EPA had in making their presumptive decision were from 2007. The DryFining system has been in place since December 2009, Anderson said. It’s GRE’s belief that the new analysis will remove Coal Creek Station from the Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) and continue with a SIP. “As a result of DryFining, Coal Creek Station has not only met, but has gone below EPA’s presumptive NOx limit of 0.17 lb/mm Btu,” Anderson said.

The Weather Network