PA DEP Issues 4th Draft Wastewater Permit for York Electric Plant

The Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, but straddles Lancaster County. It is a huge 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February 2017, MDN told you that the new owners of the plant are investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). The plant was issued a draft permit by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in April allowing the plant to discharge pollutants (into the atmosphere) and heated water into the Susquehanna River. It was the third such draft permit issued since 2011 when the last official permit expired. The DEP held a public hearing on the draft permit in July (see York, PA Elec Plant Dropping Coal for Now, Burning Marcellus Gas). At that time Talen Energy (the new owner) said it “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.’” Meaning almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant is Marcellus Shale gas. Which is why we’re interested in the plant and what happens to it. Last Friday the DEP announced it has updated and issued a fourth draft permit and is accepting comments through February 20th. The DEP hopes the fourth time is the charm…

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