Public comment open on Progress Energy plant permit

The WNC Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA) announced its intent today to modify the permit for the Asheville Steam Electric Plant, located in Arden. The permit controls how much pollutants the plant can legally put into the air.

The main purpose of the plant’s existing permit, issued under the Clean Air Act, is to consolidate and identify existing local and federal air quality requirements that apply to the plant, regarding its emissions in providing coal-fired power. A modified permit would allow the use of new system to deal with the particulate and opacity limits on the plant’s two coal-fired boilers.

Known as a particulate matter continuous emissions monitoring system, the proposed technique is being pursued as an optional method of demonstrating compliance with the Clean Air Act. Public comments are sought until the deadline of Dec. 20. A public hearing may be scheduled.

Persons wishing to comment on the draft permit are required to submit their comments in writing to the WNCRAQA. Comments must be received by no later than December 20.  All comments received on or prior to that date will be considered by the WNCRAQA in making its final decision to issue the revised permit. Where there is significant public interest in a proposed permit, the WNCRAQA may hold a public hearing to receive oral or written comments on the proposed permit approval. A notice of public hearing will be provided 30 days beforehand.

Citizens may also petition the EPA on the matter. The status regarding EPA’s 45-day review of this project and the deadline for submitting a citizen petition can be found here.

After the public comment period and EPA review period have expired, copies of the final permit, as well as comments received and any other relevant information, will then be public record.

The draft permit, permit application, compliance plan, monitoring and compliance reports, and all other materials available to the WNCRAQA that are relevant to the permit decision are available for public review at the following address: Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency, 49 Mount Carmel Rd, Asheville, NC 28806. Materials are available for review during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

For additional information, please contact Vic Fahrer, Air Quality Engineer, at 250-6788 or vic.fahrer@buncombecounty.org.

Photos courtesy of Western North Carolina Alliance and Southwings.

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2 thoughts on “Public comment open on Progress Energy plant permit

  1. Drew

    Asheville’s air is pretty darn clean. To be concerned about this little Progress Energy power plant is a waste of time. People need to just let the plant do its job and start working on some new energy production methods. We need to bring the cost of energy down in the area, and the technology is available to do it safely with nuclear power. It’s amazing how far the world has come. People just have so much fear of what they don’t understand.

  2. Asheville’s air is pretty darn clean. To be concerned about this little Progress Energy power plant is a waste of time. People need to just let the plant do its job and start working on some new energy production methods.

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