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  1. Sierra Club appeals permit for 500 MW Ocotillo peaker power plant

    The Sierra Club on April 21 filed an appeal with the U.S. EPA ’s Environmental Appeals Board to challenge an air permit issued by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department for the Ocotillo natural gas-fired power plant proposed by Arizona Public Service. APS is a utility unit of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. Environmental groups have pushed back repeatedly against the proposal to build a new natural gas peaker plant, arguing that it would increase greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbate air quality in an area that already violates standards for soot and ozone. The permit would allow Ocotillo , a 500 MW simple-cycle power plant , to emit greenhouse gases at a rate that is higher than what is allowed for a new coal plant, the club claimed. According to a recent EPA rule, newly constructed coal plants must meet a greenhouse gas emission rate of 1,400 lb CO2/MWh (pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour). In contrast, the proposed Ocotillo plant would be allowed to emit greenhouse gases at a rate of 1,460 lb CO2/MWh, the club said. The high greenhouse gas emissions rate is a result of APS’s desire to run the facility at some points at low and inefficient loads. APS asserts that such operation is necessary to balance variable supply from renewable energy sources. The Sierra Club appeal claims that APS failed to consider a cleaner and even more responsive alternative, which is energy storage batteries. “Utilities and regulators are out of step with changing energy markets and emerging technologies,” said Travis Ritchie, Staff Attorney with the Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program. “In order to serve their ratepayers best, APS should look into all proven and affordable technologies for managing variability in renewable energy production. Instead they have stuck like glue to their plan to build an outdated, inefficient natural gas plant that fails to comply with Clean Air Act requirements. Integrating energy storage with conventional generation is part of the picture of any modern grid - it’s time for regulators to start factoring in this established approach when determining whether proposed natural gas plants meet regulatory standards for emissions.” The Maricopa County Air Quality Department issued the Prevention of Significant Deterioration air permit on March 22. The Sierra Club's April 21 appeal requires a response by May 12. APS is prohibited from starting construction during the appeal process. The appeal noted that the Ocotillo plant currently consists of two 110-MW steam generators and two 55-MW gas turbines for a total output of 330 MW. In April 2014, APS filed an application with the county requesting a revision to its Title V permit to install five new 100-MW natural gas simple-cycle turbines, model LMS 100, to replace the two existing 110-MW steam generators.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 26 Apr 2016

  2. Sierra Club Appeals Permit for 500-MW Ocotillo Peaker of APS

    The Sierra Club on April 21 filed an appeal with the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to challenge an air permit issued by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department for the Ocotillo natural gas-fired power plant proposed by Arizona Public Service (APS).

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 25 Apr 2016

  3. Murray Energy continues fight against EPA's emissions rules

    Coal producer Murray Energy Corp. is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final rule that targets mercury pollution from power plants 

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 27 Apr 2016

  4. Bill, ozone limits implementation both draw fire before House panel

    A bill that would delay the US Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of a 70 ppb ground-level ozone limit drew nearly as much fire as EPA’s implementation of the new limits did at a US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 20 Apr 2016

  1. Marathon Petroleum settles federal Clean Air Act allegations

    Article

    Article

    Wed, 20 May 2015

  2. EPA proposes smog standards under Clean Air Act

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new smog, or ozone, standards under the Clean Air Act after recent scientific evidence showed harmful effects of ground-level smog.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 26 Nov 2014

  3. Massachusetts Gas Plant Owner, Managers Plead Guilty to Tampering & False Reporting

    Berkshire Power Co. (BPC) and Power Plant Management Services (PPMS) agreed to plead guilty and pay $8.5 million in fines on felony charges that workers tampered with emissions control monitors and submitted false information at a gas-fired plant in Massachusetts.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 4 Apr 2016

  4. Appeals Court Upholds EPA Decisions on Arizona's Regional Haze Plan

    A three-judge panel at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 31 upheld several U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decisions under the regional haze program related to one formerly coal-fired power unit and several industrial facilities.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 4 Apr 2016

  5. D.C. Circuit Ruling on CO2 Plan Could Come This Fall, Attorney Predicts

    A leading power industry lawyer who was a senior Environmental Protection Agency official during the George W. Bush administration expects the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to rule on the EPA Clean Power Plan (CPP) this fall.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 21 Mar 2016

  6. D.C. Circuit ruling on EPA power plant rules could come this fall

    Final resolution not expected until 2017 or 2018

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 21 Mar 2016

  7. SDG&E adds new technologies to harness clean energy, efficiency

    The coal-fired power unit involved now burns strictly natural gas  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 4 Apr 2016

  8. Wind, solar interests file brief supporting Clean Power Plan

    Oral arguments on EPA carbon rule set before D.C. Circuit on June 2

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 30 Mar 2016

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