EPA rules to cap emissions on three Big Island power plants

HILO, Hawaii: The Environmental Protection Agency has issued its final rule on the Federal Implementation Plan to address regional haze in the State of Hawaii.

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Part of a process that included public hearings on the Big Island earlier this year (right), the EPA has established an emissions cap of 3,550 tons of sulfur dioxide per year from three specific fuel oil-fired, electric utility boilers on the Island of Hawaii beginning in 2018.

These are the Hawaii Electric Light Company’s Hill, Shipman and Puna power plants. The three plants reportedly released 3,209.7 tons of SO2 in 2011.

According to the EPA, HELCO can minimize impacts on the ratepayers by meeting the cap through the increased use of renewable energy and energy conservation.

EPA says this control measure will ensure that reasonable progress is made during this first planning period toward the national goal of no man-made visibility impairment by 2064 at Hawaii’s two Class I areas. Those areas include places like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

From the EPA’s final rule:

Regional Haze Plan Provisions

(1) Applicability. This paragraph (d) applies to following electric generating units (EGUs) and boilers: Kanoelehua Hill Generating Station, Hill 5 and Hill 6; Puna Power Plant, Boiler 1; Shipman Power Plant, Boiler S-3 and Boiler S-4.

(2) Definitions. Terms not defined below shall have the meaning given to them in the Clean Air Act or EPA’s regulations implementing the Clean Air Act. For purposes of this paragraph (d):

SO2 means sulfur dioxide.

Owner/operator means any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises an EGU or boiler identified in paragraph (1) of this section.

Unit means any of the EGUs or boilers identified in paragraph (1) of this section.

(3) Emissions cap. The EGUs identified in paragraph (1) above shall not emit or cause to be emitted SO2 in excess of a total of 3,550 tons per year, calculated as the sum of total SO2 emissions for all five units over a rolling 12-month period.

(4) Compliance date. Compliance with the emissions cap and other requirements of this section is required at all times on and after December 31, 2018.

(5) Monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements

(i) All records, including support information, required by this paragraph (5) shall be maintained for at least five (5) years from the date of the measurement, test or report. These records shall be in a permanent form suitable for inspection and made available to EPA, the Hawaii Department of Health or their representatives upon request.

(ii) The owners and operators of the EGUs identified in paragraph (1) above shall maintain records of fuel deliveries identifying the delivery dates and the type and amount of fuel received. The fuel to be fired in the boilers shall be sampled and tested in accordance with the most current American Society for Testing and
Materials (ASTM) methods.

(iii) The owners and operators of the EGUs identified in paragraph (1) shall analyze a representative sample of each batch of fuel received for its sulfur content and heat value following ASTM D4057. The samples shall be analyzed for the total sulfur content of the fuel using ASTM D129, or alternatively D1266, D1552, D2622,
D4294, or D5453.

(iv) The owners and operators of the EGUs identified in paragraph (1) above shall calculate on a monthly basis the SO2 emissions for each unit for the preceding month based on the sulfur content, heat value and total gallons of fuel burned.

(v) The owners and operators of the EGUs identified in paragraph (1) above shall calculate on a monthly basis the total emissions for all units for the preceding twelve (12) months.

(vi) The owners and operators of the EGUs identified in paragraph (1) shall notify the Hawaii Department of Health and EPA Region 9 of any exceedance of the emission cap in paragraph (3) within thirty (30) days of such exceedance.

(vii) By March 1, 2019 and within sixty (60) days following the end of each calendar year thereafter, the owners and operators of the EGUs identified in paragraph (1) above shall report to the Hawaii Department of Health and EPA Region 9 the total tons of SO2 emitted from all units for the preceding calendar year by month and the corresponding rolling 12-month total emissions for all units.

(viii) Any document (including reports) required to be submitted by this rule shall be certified as being true, accurate, and complete by a responsible official and shall be mailed to the following addresses:

Clean Air Branch
Environmental Management Division
State of Hawaii Department of Health
P. O. Box 3378
Honolulu, HI 96801-3378

and

Director of Enforcement Division,
U.S. EPA Region IX
75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

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