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Astoria Energy LLC

Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)


Applicant: Astoria Energy LLC a/k/a SCS Astoria, 85 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts

DEC Number: 2-6304-00024/00004

Project Description and Location

Astoria Energy has applied for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction conditions from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) pursuant to 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 52.21, and for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article X of the New York State Public Service Law from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment so that it may construct and operate a combined cycle electric generating facility that will produce 1,000 megawatts (MW). The facility will use natural gas as its primary source of fuel; low sulfur distillate fuel oil will serve as a backup for up to 720 hours annually. The facility will consist of two independent two-on-one combined cycle power blocks. Each power block will contain two General Electric Frame 7F series combustion turbines (CT), two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine. The facility will utilize air-cooled condensers to condense the steam turbine exhaust; thus there will be no water intake from the East River. When firing natural gas the facility will control nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by using dry low-NOx combustors in the CT and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. When firing low distillate fuel oil, the facility will control NOx emissions by injecting water into the CT and using the SCR system. The facility stack will be 269 feet high.

The project site is located at 17-10 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens. The site is currently a fuel oil storage distribution terminal operated by Castle Astoria Terminals, Inc. ("Castle Oil"), and is zoned M3-1 Heavy Manufacturing under the New York City Zoning Resolution. The project site currently contains several large fuel oil tanks, two of which will be will be refurbished and used to store approximately 12.6 million gallons of backup low sulfur distillate fuel oil. The remaining tanks will be removed from the site prior to construction.

Public Notice

The Department has made a tentative determination that the proposed facility is subject to and satisfies the federal requirements for the PSD contained in 40 CFR § 52.21. The air emissions will result from the turbines and generators and will be vented through a single exhaust stack. The following PSD-affected air pollutants will be controlled with the Best Available Control Technology (BACT): sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) particulate matter (PM & PM10) and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4). The DEC staff has also verified that the emissions of these PSD-affected air pollutants will not cause or significantly contribute to an exceedance of any national primary or secondary ambient air quality standards, and will not consume more than the allowable PSD air quality increment where one exists. The projected maximum concentrations of the PSD-affected criteria pollutants are below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-defined significance levels. The facility is also affected by federal New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) at 40 CFR Part 60. In addition to the operating restrictions and emission limitations proposed by Astoria Energy for the Facility, which have been incorporated as special permit conditions, DEC staff has imposed limitations on the sulfur content of the backup oil to a maximum of 0.033% to assure insignificant impacts. Astoria Energy has concurred with this limitation.

New York State Public Service Law

This project is subject to review pursuant to Article X of the New York State Public Service Law (PSL) (Siting of Major Electric Generating Facilities) and requires a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment to construct and operate. An Article X application has been filed with the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, case no. 99-F-1191.

Other Regulatory Provisions

In addition to the regulations cited above, review of the Article X application is conducted by NYSDEC staff pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 3, Title 3 (General Functions), ECL Article 17 (Water Pollution Control), ECL Article 19 (Air Pollution Control), and Title 6 of the New York Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR) Part 201 (Permits and Registrations), Subpart 231-2 (Requirements for Emission Sources Subject to §§ 172 and 173 of the Clean Air Act , 42 USC §7502 and §7503 on or after November 15, 1992) and Part 621 (Uniform Procedures). A separate public notice is being issued concurrently for the 6 NYCRR Part 201 and State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) applications and draft permits.

SEQRA Status

Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.5(c)(35), the proposal is a Type II action.

Tentative DEC Staff Position

DEC staff has reviewed the PSD application and determined it is complete pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 621. Staff has determined that all statutory and regulatory criteria can be met through the imposition of special conditions. The emissions limits and special permit conditions imposed on the Facility construction and operation reflect those proposed and analyzed by Astoria Energy in its PSD application. A draft PSD determination is available for review (see document availability).

Public Comments/Appeal Procedure

DEC invites public comment regarding this tentative determination. DEC's final determination will be made only after full consideration of all public commentary. Statements are to be limited to PSD concerns and must be in writing, and must be accompanied with adequate supporting information. The PSD aspects, as noted above, address the proposed emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM and PM-10), and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4). The public comment period will run from February 28 - April 19, 2001. The final determination may be appealed administratively within 30 days of Astoria Energy's receipt of the final PSD permit determination. Only those persons who file comments on this PSD preliminary determination may petition the EPA Environmental Appeals Board for administrative review of the PSD determination. Persons who fail to file comments may petition for review only to the extent of any changes from the draft to the final permit decision regarding PSD issues. If no comments are received and DEC makes no changes to the PSD determination from the draft to the final decision, no opportunity for further review or appeal will be available.

The procedures for administrative review by the USEPA Environmental Appeals Board are defined in the Consolidated Permit Regulations at 40 CFR Part 124. Any such petition for review shall include a statement of the reasons supporting that review and shall adhere to the standards outlined in 40 CFR §§ 124.19(a)(1) and (2).

Upon completion of the administrative review process (if applicable), the final decision will become the final agency action and will be published in the Federal Register. Those who appealed for administrative review may petition for judicial review within 60 days following the final EPA decision.

Document Availability

All filed application materials and the preliminary PSD determination are available for public inspection at the following: John J. Ferguson, Project Manager, DEC Division of Environmental Permits, 50 Wolf Road, Room 538, Albany, New York 12233-1750, 518/457-0782; Elizabeth Clarke, NYSDEC, Division of Environmental Permits, One Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21st St., Long Island City, NY 11101-5401, 718/482-4079; Community Board 1, Queens County, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria, NY 11106; Community Board 2, Queens County, 43-22 50th St., Woodside, NY 11377; Community Board 3, Queens County, 82-11 37th Ave., Suite 606, Jackson Heights, NY 11372; Astoria Branch, Queens Library, 14-01 Astoria Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11102; Broadway Branch, Queens Library, 40-20 Broadway, Long Island City, NY 11103; The Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11432; Corporation Counsel's Library, 100 Church Street #6-310, New York, NY 10007-2601; Hillcrest Branch Queens Library, 18705 Union Turnpike, Flushing, NY 11366-1704; Howard Beach Queens Library, 9206 156th Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11414-2722; Kew Gardens Library, 12501 Queens Boulevard, Floor 7 #722, Jamaica, NY 11415-1514; Mr. Gary E. Strong, Director, Queens Borough Public Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11432; Steinway Branch, Queens Library, 21-45 31 Street, Long Island City, NY 11105; and William Hallock Park Memorial Library 455 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10016-9102.

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