Friday, October 1, 2021

DEP Terminates Proposed Beech Hollow Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant's Air Quality Permit In Washington County At Company's Request

On September 29, the Department of Environmental Protection terminated the air quality permit for the proposed Beech Hollow natural gas-fired power plant in Robinson Township, Washington County at the request of the company.

Community advocates, Clean Air Council, and Environmental Integrity Project reported the termination of the Beech Hollow permit for a proposed 1,000-megawatt power plant that would have been a large source of new air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in a region. 

“This is a huge victory for the health of my community!” said nearby resident and Clean Air Council member Cathy “Cat” Lodge. “Having one fewer polluting fossil fuel facility in Robinson Township is an important step in the right direction. Finally, the PA DEP listened to the facts and did the right thing by canceling this permit.”

The announcement comes after the Clean Air Council, represented by its own attorneys and the Environmental Integrity Project, challenged an air permit that DEP had granted for the project in June 2021. 

The groups filed a second appeal when DEP, in an August 23 letter, attempted to revive a defunct version of the permit in a move that contradicts state and federal precedent. Read more here.

On September 28, 2021, the groups had also sent a letter to DEP presenting evidence—which the operator had failed to disclose to DEP—that showed that Robinson Power did not intend to proceed with the Beech Hollow gas plant. 

This evidence included that Robinson Power had withdrawn its request to connect with the regional electricity grid, had received a return of its construction escrow, and had failed to construct the plant in accordance with regulatory requirements. 

In response to the groups’ evidence, Robinson Power withdrew its permit and DEP announced the termination of all authorizations for the Beech Hollow project. 

“Local residents made all the difference in uncovering facts that were instrumental in DEP’s final decision to cancel this project’s permit,” said Lisa Hallowell, Senior Attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project. “We are thrilled to have stopped the construction of a dirty power plant in Robinson Township, where residents are already overburdened by air pollution from a plethora of oil and gas facilities.” 

“After years of fighting to protect their health from this polluting power plant plan, residents have succeeded in defeating it for good,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “I hope this victory emboldens other communities to continue to resist unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure and forces companies looking to build these unwanted plants to pause and recognize the power of community opposition.”

Click Here for a copy of DEP’s termination letter


-- StateImpactPA - Reid Frazier: Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Washington County Asks State To Withdraw Permits

-- Marcellus Drilling News: 100+ PA Landowners Get Class Action Lawsuit OK’d Against EQT Over Natural Gas Storage Area

Related Articles:

-- DEP: Potential For Environmental Impacts From Spills Or Leaks Of Radioactive Oil & Gas Waste Materials Is Real; Health Dept. Not Aware Of All Chemicals In Oil & Gas Wastewater Making Risk Assessment Difficult  

-- Senate Committees Hold Oct. 4 Hearing On Failure To Invest In PA’s Natural Gas Infrastructure; Hearing Set After PennEast Announced NJ Part Of Its Project Would Not Go Forward, But PA Part Might 

-- Health Advocacy Groups Meet With State Dept. Of Health, DEP To Discuss Residents Impacted By Shale Gas Emissions

-- Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: Told A Federal Court Sunoco Cannot Hide Risk Assessment Data For Its Mariner East 2 Pipeline 

[Posted: October 1, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner