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EPA requires clean-up of four Utah power plants to reduce haze at eight national parks.

June 29, 2016

On June 1, 2016 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has made a final determination to partially approve and partially disapprove the state of Utah’s regional haze plan to reduce haze-forming emissions affecting nine Class I Colorado Plateau national parks and wilderness areas.Grand Canyon smog

The affected Class I areas are: Grand Canyon, Arches, Black Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Mesa Verde and Zion National Parks and Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

EPA is issuing a federal plan that will require the installation of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) emission control technologies to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from four electrical generating units at Hunter and Huntington power plants in Emery County, Utah by 9,885 tons each year. SCR is an industry-standard technology that is in place at more than 250 similar facilities across the country to limit NOx pollution. EPA’s federal plan requires compliance, including the installation of SCR emission controls, within five years.

The Agency is proposing to approve portions of the state’s plan addressing particulate matter emissions at these plants, but EPA chose to reject the proposal from the state of Utah that would have done nothing new to clean up pollution from the Hunter and Huntington coal-fired power plants.

The Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1977 and 1990 established the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program and required that 156 national parks and wilderness areas receive special Class I protection from additional pollution. The amended Clean Air Act states that federal land managers have an “affirmative responsibility” to protect their class I areas from the adverse effects of air pollution. To address this goal, Congress required EPA to adopt rules and required states to develop regional haze plans to reduce haze-forming emissions and meet the requirements of the Act.

Rocky Mountain Power, which owns the power plants in question, is weighing legal options according to a June 1, 2016 Salt Lake Tribune report. The state of Utah asserts that its own plan is less costly and still capable of achieving the goals of the Regional Haze Rule. Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, said while the DAQ has yet to decide how it will proceed, the EPA’s decisions regarding states’ regional haze plans have a history of inspiring legal action.

What this means to you
EPA is requiring SCR technology at four Utah electric generating units to reduce regional haze at eight national parks and one wilderness area. On April 16, 2016 EPA proposed amendments strengthening many actions of its Regional Haze Rule.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for information on NOX, VOC and Particulate Matter controls for your engines.