The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has issued an air quality plan approval to Penn State University for its West Campus steam plant project to convert the boilers from coal to natural gas in State College.
“The department has done a very careful and detailed review of this application during the past 15 months to be sure that the proposed project meets the department’s Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements as well as all applicable federal and state air quality regulations,” DEP Northcentral Regional Director Marcus Kohl said.
“In some areas, our plan approval application review exceeded state and federal requirements. We responded to more than 40 written comments received from the public,” Kohl said.
DEP provided substantial opportunities for public input throughout its review process. In late October 2013, the department conducted a combined public meeting and hearing in State College that was attended by about 50 citizens, with 16 presenting testimony.
The department has determined that the proposed emission levels of air contaminants satisfy DEP’s BAT requirements, as well as New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration applicability requirements.
The draft and proposed plan approvals also were sent by DEP to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its review. The department addressed EPA’s comments, and EPA concurred with the department’s decision to issue the plan approval.
The Penn State project includes construction of two new natural gas boilers and modification of two existing coal boilers to use only natural gas. It also includes two 25,000 gallon above ground distillate oil tanks to store fuel oil for back-up use in the two new boilers.Individuals interested in reviewing the air quality plan approval or the comment and response document can go to the DEP Northcentral Regional Office Community Information webpage.