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  • PDEQ Holds Public Meetings to Obtain Comments on Tucson Electric Power Air Quality Permit

    Jan 25, 2018 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is holding an Open House on February 15, 2018 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. and a formal Public Hearing on March 1, 2018, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, Tucson, in Conference Room 1108.

    The purpose of these meetings is to obtain public comments on a proposed major modification to the existing Air Quality Permit #1052 for Tucson Electric Power (TEP) Irvington/H.Wilson Sundt Generating Station located at 3950 Irvington Road. The official Public Comment Period, during which anyone can submit written comments to the PDEQ regarding this project, begins on February 9, 2018 and runs through March 12, 2018. 
    TEP is proposing to modernize the power generating station by replacing two 1950's era steam units with ten natural gas fired combustion engines that will have a generating capacity of nearly 19 MW each.  The project expects to cause an increase in emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter (fine particles PM2.5 and coarse particles PM10) and volatile organic compounds. This increase in emissions makes the permit modification subject to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting requirements.

    According to information provided to PDEQ by TEP, they plan to expand renewable energy resources to 30 percent by 2030. The new engines are able to ramp up more quickly to meet peak load needs for the community and help balance the variability associated with solar and wind energy generation. If the proposed changes go into effect, there will be a reduction in the potential to emit nitrogen oxide emissions from over 4,000 tons per year to a maximum of 179 tons per year.
    PDEQ has worked with TEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and consultants to create a permit that will protect public health and meet regulations while allowing TEP to update its facility to increase electricity generated for future customer needs and manage the fluctuations from energy generated by renewable resources.  All documents pertaining to the proposed permit can be found on PDEQ's website.
    For additional information about the permit modification, call PDEQ at (520) 724-7400. Submit a comment regarding the draft permit by March 12, 2018, by email: Rupesh.Patel@pima.gov, mail or drop off to: PDEQ, Air Permits, 33. N. Stone Ave., Suite 700 • Tucson, AZ 85701.