DEP Announces Public Meeting, Hearing on PSU West Campus Steam Plant Conversion

Agency Will Discuss University’s Proposed Air Quality Plan Approval 

WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting and hearing Oct. 30, to discuss a proposed Air Quality plan approval for Penn State University’s conversion of its West Campus Steam Plant from coal-fired boilers to natural gas.

The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be held at the State College Area High School South auditorium at 650 Westerly Parkway in State College, Centre County.

“Staff from DEP’s Air Quality Program will explain the application review process and applicable regulations, and Penn State officials will review the project with the audience,” DEP North-central Regional Director Marcus Kohl said. “These presentations will be followed by a question and answer session, so that DEP and the university can hear from residents and provide needed information.”

Penn State submitted the Air Quality plan approval application to DEP on Oct. 9, 2012. The proposal includes constructing two new natural gas boilers and modifying two existing coal boilers to use only natural gas.

The plan also includes installing two 25,000 gallon above-ground distillate oil tanks to store fuel oil for backup use in the two new boilers during gas curtailment. Two coal-fired boilers and one natural gas-fired boiler will also be demolished as part of the project.

This proposal is part of the University Park campus facility’s efforts and compliance plan for the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

DEP published a notice of intent to issue the plan approval in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on Aug. 3, 2013 and asked for public comment. A number of local citizens and the Ferguson Township supervisors had previously requested that the agency hold a public meeting or hearing to discuss the application.

During the 8 p.m. hearing portion of the evening, the public will have an opportunity to present up to five minutes of oral testimony about the application. Written testimony of any length will also be accepted. The testimony will be recorded by a court reporter and transcribed into a written document, and DEP will create a written response to all relevant testimony.

Those who wish to present oral testimony may register that evening prior to the hearing. For anyone unable to attend the public hearing, written comments should be submitted by the close of business on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 to DEP Air Quality Program Manager, 208 W. 3rd St., Suite 101, Williamsport, PA 17701.

Individuals in need of an accommodation as provided for in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact Daniel Spadoni at 570-327-3659 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD).

For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 570 327-3636.

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