Back in May, GASP appealed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) issuance of an air quality permit for Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners, LLC’s Westmoreland Generating Station. We’re pleased to announce that last month GASP reached an agreement with DEP and Tenaska to resolve the issues we raised in our appeal.
The Westmoreland Generating Station is a proposed ~1,000 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant to be located in South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County. The facility would be classified as a major source of air pollution under the federal Clean Air Act. According to Tenaska’s estimates, the station would have the potential to emit 2,310 tons per year (TPY) of carbon monoxide, 1,251 TPY of volatile organic compounds, 376 TPY of nitrogen dioxide, 193 TPY of ammonia, 96 TPY of particulate matter, 23 TPY of sulfur dioxide, 15 TPY of sulfuric acid mist, and 8 TPY of formaldehyde.
GASP appealed the Westmoreland Generating Station air quality permit because Tenaska’s permit application did not include technical specifications for much of the equipment to be installed at the facility, and much of the equipment emissions data that Tenaska had provided to DEP was improperly treated as confidential and excluded from the public record.
These omissions were not mere procedural errors: The omitted information is necessary to determine whether the facility emissions calculations are accurate and thus whether the facility would satisfy the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act. Further, failure to include this information in the publicly available air quality permit record deprives the public of its right to participate meaningfully in the permitting process.
Over the summer, GASP, Tenaska, and DEP discussed the issues we raised in our appeal, and Tenaska and DEP agreed to place additional information in the public record to address the omissions. Our hope is that as a result of our efforts, DEP will do more to ensure that application completeness and public participation requirements are satisfied in future permitting actions.
• GASP’s comments on Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station Air Quality Plan Approval
• GASP’s Notice of Appeal – Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station Air Quality Plan Approval