Mercury Reduction from Coal Plants, CT

Date: 12 Jan 2009 | posted in: Energy, environment | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In March 2003, environmental organizations including Clean Water Action, the Connecticut Coalition for Clean Air, and the Clean Air Task Force along with electric utility PSEG Power Connecticut (owner of the 375-megawatt Bridgeport Harbor coal-fired power plant) issued a joint recommendation to the Connecticut General Assembly for legislation establishing stringent new mercury emission standards for the state’s coal-fired power plants. The legislation sets a national precedent for controlling power plant mercury emissions.

The joint proposal, unanimously adopted and signed into law in June 2003, requires coal-fired power plants in Connecticut to achieve either an emissions standard of 0.6 (six-tenths) lbs. of mercury per trillion Btu(0.6 lb/tBtu) or a 90% efficiency in technology installed to control mercury emissions. The new requirements become effective in July, 2008. The new standard will result in up to a 92% mercury emission rate reduction at Bridgeport Harbor station. The law is the first of its kind in the U.S. Implementing the proposed Connecticut standard nationwide would result in an 85% reduction in mercury emissions.

Inaddition to establishing the new mercury emission limits in 2008, the law also directs the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in 2012 to review all stationary sources of mercury emissions in the state and consider new emissions standards based on available technology, the cost of achieving additional reductions, and public health and environmental benefits associated with further reductions from each source reviewed.

More Information:


FULL TEXT OF PROPOSED MERCURY REDUCTION BILL IN CT:

AN ACT CONCERNING MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL-FIRED ELECTRICITY GENERATORS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) For purposes of sections 2 and 3 of this act:

(1)"Affected unit" means any emissions unit that generates electricity in the state and combusts coal in an amount greater than ten per cent of its total heat input on a rolling twelve-month basis.

(2)"Alternative emissions limit" means a mercury emissions limit established by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for an affected unit.

(3) "Calendar quarter" means the period of January first to March thirty-first, inclusive, April first to June thirtieth, inclusive, July first to September thirtieth, inclusive, or October first to December thirty-first, inclusive.

(4)"Inlet conditions" means either: (A) The concentration of mercury in the flue gas exiting the combustion source prior to application of any air pollution control device; or (B) in the case of a fluidized bed combustion unit, the concentration of mercury input to the combustion source based on representative fuel sampling and analysis, as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

(5) "Mercury" means mercury and mercury compounds in either a gaseous or particulate form.

(6) "TBtu" means trillion BTU of heat input.

(7)"Fluidized bed combustion unit" means a combustion unit in which fuel is introduced into a layer of solid particles kept in turbulent motion by air that is forced into the layer from below, resulting in a thorough mixing and intimate contact of the fuel and other reactants.

Sec.2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) On and after July 1, 2008, the owner or operator of an affected unit or units shall: (1) Meet an emissions rate of equal to or less than 0.6 pounds of mercury per TBtu, or (2) meet a mercury emissions rate equal to a ninety per cent reduction of mercury from the measured inlet conditions for the affected unit, whichever emissions rate is more readily achievable by such affected unit, as determined by the owner or operator of such affected unit. Compliance with the requirements of this subsection shall be demonstrated in accordance with the provisions of subsection(c) of this section.

(b) (1) If the owner or operator of any affected unit properly installs and operates control technology designed to achieve the mercury emissions rate requirement of subsection (a) of this section and such technology fails to achieve said emission rate, such owner or operator shall notify the Commissioner of Environmental Protection of such failure no later than February 1, 2009. Such owner or operator shall submit each quarterly stack test from such affected unit to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for evaluation and establishment of an alternative emissions limit for such affected unit based upon the optimized performance of such properly installed and operated control technology. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall establish an alternative emissions limit for any such affected unit no later than April 1, 2010.

(2)Upon the establishment of an alternative emissions limit for an affected unit, pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall incorporate such alternative emissions limit into the Title V permit for such affected unit. Thereafter, upon any application for renewal of such Title V permit, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall conduct a review of such affected unit’s alternative emissions limit and may impose a more stringent alternative emissions limit based upon any new data regarding the demonstrated control capabilities of the type of control technology installed and operated at such affected unit.

(3)If the owner or operator of any affected unit properly installs and operates control technology designed to achieve the mercury emissions rate requirement established in subsection (a) of this section, but such technology fails to achieve such emissions requirement, and such owner or operator notifies the Commissioner of Environmental Protection of such failure no later than February 1, 2009, the owner or operator of such affected unit shall demonstrate compliance with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section for the period beginning July 1, 2008, and ending on the date of the issuance of an alternative emissions limit, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, by operating and maintaining such affected unit, including any associated air pollution control equipment, in a manner consistent with good air pollution control practices for the minimization of mercury emissions, as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. In determining whether the owner or operator of such affected unit is operating and maintaining such affected unit in a manner consistent with good air pollution control practices for the minimization of mercury emissions, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may review the emissions monitoring results and operating and maintenance procedures of such unit and may inspect such affected unit.

(c)(1) Any stack test used to demonstrate compliance with the mercury emissions rate requirements of subsection (a) of this section or used in the establishment or compliance with an alternative emissions limit pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall be based on the average of the stack tests conducted during the two most recent calendar quarters for an affected unit and shall be conducted on a calendar quarter basis in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Method 29 for the determination of metal emissions from stationary sources, as set forth in 40 CFR 60, Appendix A, as amended from time to time, or any other alternative method approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. Such stack tests shall be conducted while combusting coal or coal blends that are representative of the coal or coal blends combusted at such affected unit during the calendar quarter represented by such stack test.

(2) If the Commissioner of Environmental Protection determines that continuous emission monitors for mercury in flue gases are commercially available and can perform in accordance with National Institute of Technology Standards, or other methodology approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, the owner or operator of any affected unit shall properly install and operate such continuous emission monitors and shall not be required to conduct stack testing on a calendar quarter basis. When reporting compliance with the mercury emissions rate requirement of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, as applicable, the owner or operator of an affected unit shall use an average of the continuous emission monitor data recorded at such affected unit during the most recent calendar quarter.

(d)The owner or operator of any affected unit shall, for each calendar quarter, report to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection the results of any stack test or average of the continuous emission monitor data, as applicable, used to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of this section. Such reports shall be submitted on such forms as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

Sec.3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) On or before July 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall conduct a review of the mercury emission limits applicable to all affected units in the state. On or after July 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may adopt regulations imposing mercury emission limits that are more stringent than such emissions requirements provided for in subsections(a) or (b) of section 2 of this act.