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Besicorp-Empire Development Company, LLC


Applicant: Besicorp-Empire Development Company, LLC, 1151 Flatbush Road, Kingston, NY 12401

Application Number: DEC # 4-3814-00052/00001; PSC Case # 00-F-2057

Project Description: The Empire State Newsprint Project will consist of a recycled newsprint manufacturing plant and a nominal 505 MW combined cycle cogeneration plant.

The recycled newsprint manufacturing plant will be located on the northern portion of the site where the existing BASF manufacturing plant is located. A majority of the existing buildings at the BASF manufacturing plant will be demolished to accommodate construction of the recycling facility. The recycled newsprint manufacturing plant will consist of a de-inking plant, stock preparation and paper mill and finishing and shipping. The recycled newsprint manufacturing plant will process approximately 430,000 metric tonnes/year of waste newspapers and magazines to produce 330,000 metric tonnes/year of 100 percent-recycled newsprint.

The cogeneration plant will supply steam and electricity (approximately 55 MW) to the recycled newsprint manufacturing plant. The remainder of the electricity generated will be offered on the merchant market. The cogeneration plant is configured with two GE Frame 7FA combustion turbines with dry low-nitrogen oxide (NOx) combusters, heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), a steam turbine and an auxiliary boiler. With all of these components of the facility included, the maximum electrical output will be 670 MW. The cogeneration plant will use natural gas as the primary fuel and low sulfur (0.05%) distillate as the secondary fuel in the combustion turbines and duct burners within the HRSGs. The auxiliary boiler will also fire natural gas and low-sulfur distillate fuel. Distillate fuel use will be limited up to the equivalent of 1,080 hours per year at 100 percent load.

Process water for the facilities will be withdrawn from the Hudson River at a maximum rate of 9.6 millions gallons per day (MGD), including approximately 7.9 MGD for the recycled newspaper manufacturing plant and 1.7 MGD for the cogeneration plant. Non-contact cooling water for the cogeneration plant will be supplied by Albany County Sewer District South Plant at a maximum rate of 6.6 MGD. Wastewater from the facility will be treated on-site and discharged to the Hudson River. The daily flow rate of wastewater is proposed to be 6.25 MGD (average daily) and 8.1 MGD (peak daily).

The water intake structure for process water will consist of two cylindrical 1-mm wedgewire screens and the seasonal deployment of a Marine Life Exclusion System structure. The installation of the intake structure and outfall will require the dredging of 1,100 cubic yards from the Hudson River that will be disposed of off site. Approximately 1,340 cubic yards of clean material will be used for backfill in the Hudson River.

Project Location:. The project is located at the former industrial manufacturing site currently owned by BASF in the City of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County. The project site totals 88 acres, with all facilities associated with the project covering 58 acres. The site is bordered by Riverside Avenue and the Hudson River on the west, the Port Access Highway on the east and south, and by another industrial facility on the north.

Public Notice: Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Staff has made a tentative determination that the proposed construction and operation of a recycled newsprint manufacturing plant and 505 MW cogeneration facility is subject to and satisfies the federal requirements for the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) contained in 40 CFR §52.21 and §124. The following PSD-affected air pollutants will be controlled with the Best Available Control Technology (BACT): particulate matter (PM & PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4). The air emissions resulting from the combustion turbines and HRSGs will be vented through one stack 248 feet high. The vents for de-ink and paper machine processes at the recycled newsprint manufacturing plant will be manifolded into a common 212.5 foot high stack . The DEC Staff has also verified that the emissions of these PSD- affected air pollutants will not cause, or significantly contribute to, aexceedencece of any national primary or secondary ambient air quality standards, and will not consume more than the allowable PSD air quality increments. The projected maximum concentrations of the PSD-affected criteria pollutants are below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-defined significance levels. The cogeneration plant 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 the Applicant, which have been incorporated as special permit conditions, DEC Staff have proposed and Applicant has agreed to further emission limitations on the auxiliary equipment. The details are provided in the "fact sheet" in the administrative record.

NYS Public Service Law: This project is subject to review pursuant to New York State Public Service Law (PSL) Article X (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 a 505 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility. The Article X application/DEIS was filed on December 20, 2001 and a supplement was filed on May 9, 2002.

Other Regulatory Provisions: In addition to the specific regulations cited above, the Article X application is being processed by DEC Staff pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 3, Title 3 (General Functions), ECL Article 15 (Protection of Waters), 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 (Air 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), Part 608 (Protection of Waters), Part 621 (Uniform Procedures), Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), Parts 750-758 (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) and the Clean Air Act Part 401 Water Quality Certification. A separate notice will be issued concurrently, which will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the 6 NYCRR Part 201-6.1 Air State Facility Permit and the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) draft permits.

SEQRA Status: The DEC Staff has determined that a portion of this proposed project is exempt from SEQRA (6 NYCRR 617.4(c)(35)) and a portion is a Type I action as designated by 6 NYCRR §617.4(b)(6)(iii). A draft environmental impact statement/Article X application has been prepared and the DEC, as lead agency, has determined the application is adequate for public review. Pursuant to 6 NYCRR §617.9(a)(4) the DEC has made the determination to hold a public hearing the details of which are provided in a separate notice for the Part 201-6.1 Air State Facility and the SPDES draft permits.

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. A draft PSD determination and conditions are being made available for public comment. The emissions limits and special permit conditions imposed on the Applicant's construction and operations reflect those proposed by the Applicant in its PSD application (Volume VI of the Article X application/DEIS, dated December 2001, as supplemented by Volume III of the Applicant's May 9, 2002 filing). A draft PSD determination and fact sheets are available for review.

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 comment received. Comments 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 PM10), and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4). The public comment period will run from the date of publication of this public notice until July 19, 2002. Written comments about DEC Staff's tentative PSD determination must be filed with the DEC project manager at the address provided below.

The final determination may be appealed administratively within 30 days of Applicant'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 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 DEC offices between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday:

(1) NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1750. Contact: Chris Hogan, Project Manager, at (518) 402-9151; and

(2) NYS DEC Region 4 Office, 1150 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, NY 12136. Contact Mike Higgins at (518) 357-2453

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