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DEQ Regulation of PGE Boardman

News Release: Environmental Quality Commission Adopts DEQ Proposal for Boardman Shutdown (Dec. 9, 2010)

DEQ's proposed revisions to air pollution control rules adopted in 2009 for the PGE Boardman coal-fired power plant were approved by the Environmental Quality Commission at the commission's December 2010 meeting. The revisions allow PGE to choose to close the coal-fired power plant near Boardman by 2020 and satisfy federal requirements for air quality and pollution controls to reduce haze emissions. The rules also:

  • Repeal the 2009 rule that requires expensive pollution control equipment and allows the plant to operate until 2040
  • Ensure the permanent closure of the Boardman coal-fired boiler no later than Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Use dry sorbent injection controls to meet federal regulations for sulfur dioxide control (as proposed by DEQ in its 2018 option).
  • A more stringent sulfur dioxide limit from 2018-2020 as proposed by DEQ.
  • Include a 2015 closure option if PGE decides to close the plant earlier than 2020.

Read more in the staff report, and see the final rulemaking documents below.

Anticipated results of the regulation:

DEQ concluded that the proposed BART controls, when combined with the permanent closure of plant no later than 2020, meet federal requirements and provide a significant environmental and public health benefit for Oregon. In brief, DEQ's rules:

  • Reduce haze forming emissions by 48 percent in the 2011 to 2019 timeframe and eliminate these pollutants completely after closure.
  • Significantly improve visibility in 14 Class I wilderness areas in Oregon and Washington.
  • Significantly improve visibility in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and reduce acid deposition, lessening the risk to Native American natural and cultural resources.
  • Permanently eliminate approximately 4,000,000 tons per year of greenhouse gasses and all of the plant’s mercury emissions, which currently range from 137 to 281 pounds per year.
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2010 Rule Changes and Rulemaking Documents

Additional 2010 Rulemaking Documents:

PGE Documents

Questions and Answers

2009 Rulemaking on Regional Haze Plan

On June 19, 2009, the Environmental Quality Commission adopted Oregon's Regional Haze Plan required by the federal Clean Air Act, which included stringent pollution controls for Portland General Electric's coal-fired power plant near Boardman. The new requirements will result in significant visibility improvements and reduced pollution for Oregon's Class I wilderness areas and national parks as well as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

PGE Boardman Mercury Compliance

DEQ's Utility Mercury Rule (Division 228) sets limits on mercury emissions from new plants and mandates the installation of mercury controls at the PGE Boardman coal-fired power plant. These rules, adopted in 2006, will require the Boardman plant to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent by July 1, 2012. None of the proposed changes related to the early closure of this plant will affect this compliance deadline.

PGE Boardman Title V permit and other Air Quality permit actions

There are several other permitting actions currently under review, involving other topics not directly related to PGE's proposed 2020 shutdown and DEQ's rulemaking. For information on PGE's Title V operating permit renewal, low NOx burner PSD permit application, and permitting related to PGE's two natural gas-fired plants – Coyote Springs and Carty power plants, contact Mark Fisher in DEQ's Eastern Region Office.

PGE Other permits - Water Quality and Solid Waste

In addition to PGE Boardman's air quality permit, DEQ also administers the plant's water quality permit, which includes provisions for managing and handling wastewater that results from the plants industrial process. This permit also contains provisions for managing solid waste produced by power generation and other activities at the plant. See below to access information from DEQ’s online databases about this permit.

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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
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