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Astoria Generating Company, LP (December 2001)

December 28, 2001

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
ANNOUNCEMENT OF PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD, and
USE OF EMISSION REDUCTION CREDITS, and
COMBINED NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION,
PUBLIC HEARING and ISSUES CONFERENCE

Applicant: Astoria Generating Company, L.P., 18-01 20th Avenue, Astoria, NY, 11105

Application Number: DEC # 2-6301-00185/00016 - Part 201 Air State Facility; DEC#: 2-6301-00185/00017 - Title IV Acid Rain; DEC#: 2-6301-00185/00007 - State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES); PSC Case # 00-F-1522

Project Description: Astoria Generating Company, L.P., a wholly owned subsidiary of Orion Power Holdings, Inc. (Applicant or Orion Power) proposes to repower the existing Astoria Generating Station (AGS). The repowering will include the installation of six combustion turbines, retirement of four existing boilers and reuse of existing equipment and infrastructure including two steam turbine generators. The repowering will increase AGS's electric generating capacity from 1,254 MW to 1,816 MW.

The primary fuel will be natural gas with kerosene (0.04 % sulfur by weight) or equivalent sulfur content member of the distillate oil facility used as back up fuel for a maximum of 750 hours per year. The Applicant proposes to install an oxidation catalyst system to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) to reduce Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). Air emissions resulting from the turbines and heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) will be directed to six 340 foot tall stacks. The repowering will incorporate a closed-loop condenser cooling system using a plume abated evaporative cooling tower to cool the circulating water.

Project Location: The AGS facility is located at 18-01 20th Avenue in Astoria, Queens and is located within a larger complex known as the Consolidated Edison (ConEd) site. The ConEd site is bounded on the north and west by the East River, the east by Luyster Creek (Steinway Creek) and 37th Street, and the south by 20th Avenue.

State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES)

SPDES Permit: Pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) §17-0823, the Applicant has filed an application with the DEC for a SPDES wastewater discharge permit modification and a request for certification that its discharges will comply with the applicable provisions of §§301, 302, 303, 306 and 307 of the federal Clean Water Act. The application was filed originally on February 19, 2001, and as amended on August 17, 2001 and October 2001 has been determined by DEC Staff to be consistent with the requirements of §402 of the Federal Clean Water Act.

DEC Staff concludes that the application for this permit is complete within the meaning of Title 6 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (6NYCRR) §621.1(d) and has tentatively determined to issue this permit. Consequently, DEC Staff has prepared draft permits pursuant to 6 NYCRR §621.5(d)(7).

The Applicant proposes to withdraw a maximum of 17.5 million gallons per day (mgd), with, an annual average withdrawal of approximately 13 mgd, from the East River via an intake structure located at the facility. (Water withdrawal for the existing facility averages 1,250 mgd.) The maximum discharge back to the East River will be 6.3 mgd.

Air Permit Applications

Air Permits: The Applicant has filed individual applications seeking the issuance of: (1) a preconstruction permit pursuant to 6 NYCRR §201-6.1(b) and Subpart 201-5; (2) a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit pursuant to 40 CFR §52.21 as incorporated by reference at 6 NYCRR §200.10; and (3) a Phase II acid rain permit pursuant to 40 CFR Part 72 as incorporated by reference at 6 NYCRR §200.10. The DEC concludes that the applications for these permits are complete within the meaning of 6 NYCRR §621.1(d) and has tentatively determined to issue the permits. Consequently, DEC has prepared draft permits pursuant to 6 NYCRR §621.5(d)(7).

DEC Staff have determined that the conditions in the draft preconstruction permit authorize the construction and operation of the proposed facility and assure conformance of the facility with all applicable State and federal air pollution control regulations including the requirements of 6 NYCRR Parts 201, 204, 225, 227, 231, and 257, as well as all New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) at 40 CFR Part 60.

In addition to the terms of the Subpart 201-6 preconstruction permit for the proposed project, DEC Staff have imposed special restrictions to emissions of NOx, PM10 ans SO2 in the existing facility's proposed Title V permit to eliminate projected exceedences of the ambient standards. These limitations were proposed by the Applicant in accord with a modeling analysis, dated October 11, 2001, which demonstrated that the cumulative impacts of the existing facility under these limitation and the cumulative impacts from other nearby existing and proposed facilities will be below the applicable ambient standards.

The terms and conditions of the draft PSD permit are not subject to public hearing under State administrative procedures. Reference to the PSD permit in this notice is for informational purposes only. The DEC is concurrently issuing for public comment a Notice of Determination to Issue Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit pursuant to 40 CFR §52.21and Part 124.

Emission Reduction Credits

Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Subpart 231-2, the Applicant has established Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) of 1102.93 tons of NOx, 159.9 tons of CO and 31.19 tons of VOC from the future shutdown of boilers 20 and 50 and restricted operations at boiler 30 at the existing AGS facility. These ERCs were noticed in the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) on November 14, 2001. No public comments were received on the ERCs notice. These ERCs are being used by the proposed project to net out of Subpart 231-2 applicability for NOx and CO. However, the project did not net out of Subpart 231-2 for VOC emissions and, therefore, the applicant must obtain VOC offsets of 104.8 tons. The ERC notice of 11/14/01 created 31.19 tons of VOC ERCs. Thus, the balance of the subpart 231-2 required 73.6 tons are being "offset" by the purchase and transfer of 85.2 tons of VOC ERCs created by Julian Slevin Co.'s Upper Darby plant in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. These ERCs were transferred to NYSDEC in accord with Subpart 231-2.9 and a "Reciprocity Agreement" between the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and NYSDEC. The current notice also serves as the public notice of the use of all ERCs pursuant to the requirements of 6 NYCRR Section 231-2.10.

Additional Regulatory Provisions

NYS Public Service Law (PSL): This project requires a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) to construct and operate, and is subject to review pursuant to New York State Public Service Law (PSL) Article X (Siting of Major Electric Generating Facilities). The PSL Article X application was filed on October 29, 2001. The conditions contained in the draft permits identified in this notice will be incorporated into the Article X hearing record for the repowering project.

The DEC public hearings noticed below are being held jointly with the related PSL Article X proceedings concerning the Article X application filed by Orion Power, for a Certificate for the repowering of the AGS (PSC Case #00-F-1256). For additional information concerning the PSL Article X application and related hearings, go to the Department of Public Service web page at: www.dps.state.ny.us/orionpower.html.

NYS Environmental Conservation Law and implementing regulations: In addition to the specific statutes and regulations cited above, the subject SPDES as well as the preconstruction and Phase II Title IV air permit applications are being processed by the DEC pursuant to ECL Article 3, Title 3 (General Functions), ECL Article 17 (Water Pollution Control), ECL Article 19 (Air Pollution Control), and 6 NYCRR Subparts 201-6 (Permits and Registrations) and 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 621 (Uniform Procedures), Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), and Parts 750-758 (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System).

SEQRA Status: The DEC Staff has determined that the proposal is a Type II action as designated by 6 NYCRR §617.5(c)(35). A comprehensive environmental review is being conducted pursuant to PSL Article X.

SHPA Status: A cultural resource survey has been completed. This project is subject to Article X of the Public Service Law and the New York State Department of Public Service will ensure compliance with the State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) through consultation with the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Tentative DEC Staff Position and Document Availability: DEC Staff has reviewed Orion Power's application materials and supporting documentation and has determined that they are complete pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 621. A tentative determination has been made to approve this application and prepare draft permits. It has been determined that all air program statutory and regulatory criteria can be met through the imposition of special permit conditions. For the 201-6 draft air preconstruction permit, the DEC has incorporated control technologies and emission limits proposed by the Applicant, and has independently developed additional conditions to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements. The background documentation of this determination is available in the "fact sheets" and the administrative record for the project.

The application materials, fact sheet, the draft air preconstruction permit, draft Phase II Title IV permit, and the draft SPDES permit are available for review at the following locations during normal business hours between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday:

  1. NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1550. Contact: Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) P. Nicholas Garlick or ALJ Susan J. DuBois at (518) 402-9003;
  2. NYS DEC Division of Environmental Permits, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1750. Contact: Christopher M. Hogan, Project Manager, at (518) 402-9151; and
  3. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 2 Headquarters, 1 Hunters Point Plaza, 4740 21st Street, Long Island City, NY 11101-5407. Contact: Elizabeth Clarke at (718) 482-4079.

The application materials, fact sheet, the draft air preconstruction permit, draft Phase II Title IV permit, and the draft SPDES permit are available for review at the following locations during normal business hours.

  1. Central Library/Legislative District Library
    Queens Borough Public Library
    89-11 Merrick Blvd.
    Jamaica, NY 11432
  2. 5th Street Branch Library
    224 East 125th Street
    New York, New York 10035
  3. Legislative District Library
    Astoria Branch
    14-01 Astoria Boulevard
    Long Island City, NY 11101

Written Comments: All written comments about the draft preconstruction permit, draft Phase II title IV permit, and draft SPDES permit must be postmarked by February 15, 2002, and sent to Administrative Law Judge P. Nicholas Garlick, NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550.

All public comments on the permits will be reviewed by DEC Staff to determine whether they raise substantive and significant issues that warrant further review through adjudication. Specific comments must be supported by full documentation and references should be limited to readily available information. The draft PSD permit referenced above is not subject to hearings under State administrative procedures.

Public Hearings Sessions and Issues Conference

Legislative Public Hearing: Legislative hearing sessions to receive unsworn statements from the public on the applications and the draft permits, described above, will be held before Administrative Law Judge P. Nicholas Garlick, on February 11, 2002 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Riccardo's by the Bridge, 21-01 Twenty-fourth Avenue, Astoria, Queens, 11102 (for directions see www.riccardoscatering.com). As stated above, this hearing is being held on a joint record with the related PSL Article X proceedings. All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed project are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments. It is not necessary to file in advance to speak at the legislative hearing. Lengthy statements should be in writing and summarized for oral presentation. Reasonable time limits may be set for each speaker to afford everyone an opportunity to be heard. Equal weight will be given to both oral and written statements. The hearing location is fully accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons at no charge upon written request to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at least 10 days prior to the hearing, pursuant to the State Administrative Procedures Act.

Issues Conference: A pre-adjudicatory hearing Issues Conference is scheduled to be held at 10:00 a.m. on February 25 , 2002 at the NYS Department of Public Service Hearing Room, One Penn Plaza, 8th Floor, Manhattan, NY. The Issues Conference will continue day to day, as necessary. At the Issues Conference, the ALJ will determine what issues, if any, require adjudication, and will define the scope of such issues. Participation at the Issues Conference will be limited to the DEC Staff, the Applicant and those persons requesting party status pursuant to 6 NYCRR §§624.4 and 624.5. The draft PSD permit conditions referred to above are not subject to an adjudicatory or evidentiary hearing, pursuant to 40 CFR §124.71(c).

Filing for Party Status and Proposed Issues: To participate at the DEC Issues Conference concerning the draft permits identified in this Notice (except the PSD permit), parties must file a written petition requesting party status including the facts intended for presentation pursuant to 6 NYCRR §§624.4(c) and 624.5(b). In addition, any petition must fully identify the proposed party and the name(s) of the person(s) who will act as the party's representative(s), the party's environmental interests, the statutory considerations relevant to the project, whether the request is for full party status or amicus status, and the precise grounds for opposing or supporting the project. Mere opposition to the project is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status. A grant of party status in the parallel Article X proceeding does not automatically grant party status in the DEC hearing process.

If seeking full party status, the petitioner must propose issues that could result in permit denial, major modification of the proposed project, or the imposition of significant permit conditions. The petition must identify all statutory and regulatory requirements which may not be met, and explain why. If a party intends to rely upon expert testimony, the petition must also include an offer of proof that specifies the witness(es), the nature of the arguments, any documentary evidence that the party intends to present at the hearing, and the grounds upon which the assertions are based regarding the proposed issues.

For amicus status, the filing must identify the nature of the legal or policy issues to be briefed, and provide a statement explaining why the proposed amicus is in a special position with respect to those issues.

All petitions must be received by 4:00 p.m. on February 19, 2002 . One copy of any petition requesting either full party status or amicus status must be served upon the following individuals:

  1. Administrative Law Judge P. Nicholas Garlick, NYSDEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1550.
  2. Administrative Law Judge J. Michael Harrison, NYSDPS, Office of Hearings and Alternative Dispute Resolution, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350.
  3. Mark Sanza, Esq., Senior Attorney, Office of General Counsel, NYSDEC 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1500.
  4. Jean McDonnell, Esq., NYSDPS, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350.
  5. Scott Turner, Esq., Nixon Peabody LLP, Clinton Square, Suite 1300, Rochester, New York 14603.

Service by fax is NOT authorized.

Daniel E. Louis
Chief Administrative Law Judge

December 28, 2001
Albany, New York

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