Tenaska agrees to provide pollution information on proposed South Huntingdon plant
A Pittsburgh-based environmental group has reached a settlement with the state and the Nebraska company proposing to build a $500 million natural gas-fueled power plant in South Huntingdon that will result in more information about the pollution to be emitted from the facility.
The settlement that the Group Against Smog and Pollution reached with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the plant operator, Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners LLC, on Aug. 7 will provide emission information that was omitted in the company’s permit application, said Joseph Osborne, an attorney for GASP.
Tenaska had omitted that information from its application for the air quality permit on the grounds that the emissions data from the Mitsubishi Corp.’s combustion turbines was proprietary, Osborne said.
GASP had appealed the state’s issuance of the air quality permit to Tenaska in April, arguing that the information Tenaska omitted from its application was necessary to determine whether the calculations of the pollution from the 950-megawatt power plant were accurate and whether the plant would meet Clean Air Act requirements. GASP characterized the plant as a “major source of air pollution,” with the potential to emit 2,310 tons annually of carbon monoxide, 1,251 tons of volatile organic compounds and 23 tons annually of sulfur dioxide.
In hearings before state environmental regulators, Tenaska officials said all air quality requirements would be met by the plant, which is to be located about one mile south of the intersection of Interstate 70 and Route 31.
Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners, an affiliate of Tenaska Energy Inc. of Omaha, declined to comment on the agreement. Tenaska had said it anticipated beginning construction on the power plant this summer and completing it in three years.
“We continue to advance commercial arrangements for the project and expect to begin construction as early as the end of 2015,” Monte Ten Kley, development director for Tenaska, said in a statement Tuesday.
The state environmental agency did not want to comment on the settlement because two other appeals are pending before the Environmental Hearing Board, said John Poister, a spokesman for the department in Pittsburgh. The Clean Air Council in Philadelphia and Cynthia A. Walter, a Hempfield scientist and St. Vincent College associate biology professor, filed appeals with the hearing board.
The Clean Air Council claimed that the state did not consider wind and solar sources for generating electricity. Alex Bomstein, a senior litigation attorney for the council, could not be reached for comment.
Walter contended that the plant’s air and water pollution would have a negative effect on people’s health. Walter, who testified against Tenaska’s plans in a state hearing conducted in February, could not be reached for comment.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, email@example.com or via Twitter .