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Astoria Generating Company, LP


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

RENOTICE OF DRAFT PSD PERMIT AND MODIFIED APPLICATION: As a result of re-calculations of emission rate for sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4) for the repowering of the Astoria Generating Station by Astoria Generating Company, L.P. ("Applicant"), the applicant has supplemented its application and requested a modification of the previously noticed limits. The revised limits result in an increase in emissions of H2SO4 above the PSD applicability threshold for the project and are, therefore, being renoticed.

In addition, operational conditions for the project have been modified to include a reverse osmosis system. The reverse osmosis system will remove salt from the cooling water taken in from the East River, thus significantly reducing total particulate matter emissions from the cooling towers (from 127 to 9 tons/year).

Project Description: The Applicant proposes to repower the existing Astoria Generating Station (AGS). The repowering will include the installation of six new 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 family 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 emitted through six 340 foot tall stacks. The repowering will incorporate a closed-loop condenser cooling system using plume abated evaporative cooling towers to cool the circulating water.

Public Notice: DEC staff has made a tentative determination that the supplemental modification to proposed repowering of the existing AGS facility by the Applicant, specifically the revised sulfuric acid mist limits, is subject to and satisfies the federal prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) requirements contained in 40 CFR §52.21. The only air pollutants for the repowering which was previously subject to control pursuant to the PSD requirements were particulate matter (PM) and particulate matter less than 10 micron in diameter (PM10). The project had netted out of PSD applicability for all other PSD pollutants in reliance on the proposed shutdown of equipment at the existing AGS facility. The DEC staff had previously verified that the emissions of particulate matter will not cause, or significantly contribute to, an exceedance of any national ambient air quality standard for PM/PM10, and will not consume more than the allowable PSD air quality increment. The projected net maximum concentrations of all criteria pollutants were below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-defined significance levels. The facility is also subject to the federal New Source Performance Standards at 40 CFR Part 60.

The PSD permit was previously noticed in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on January 2, 2002 with a minimum 30 day comment period which ended on February 15, 2003. Comments were received only from the Applicant and were deemed minor in nature. These changes have been included in the revised permit in addition to the new limits for sulfuric acid mist . The specific changes are provided in the "Comment and Response Summary", which is available upon request. The re-noticing of the draft PSD permit is therefore limited to the revised H2SO4 limits.

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.

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 repower the existing AGS facility, increasing the electric generating capacity from 1,254 MW to 1,816 MW. The Article X application was filed on October 29, 2001.

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 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) and Part 621 (Uniform Procedures). 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: DEC Staff has determined that the proposed action 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.

Tentative DEC Staff Position: DEC Staff has reviewed the applicant's supplemental documentation of the sulfuric acid mist limits and the corresponding Best Available Control Technology (BACT) determinations and agrees that the proposed limits meet BACT requirements. Thus the revised PSD application is determined complete pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 621. DEC Staff has determined that all statutory and regulatory criteria can be met through the imposition of the revised H2SO4 limit conditions. Thus, revised draft PSD conditions are being made available for public comment.

Public Comments/Appeal Procedure: DEC invites public comment regarding this specific tentative determination on the sulfuric acid mist limits only. DEC's final determination will be made only after full consideration of all public comment received. Comments are to be limited to PSD concerns with respect to the revised H2SO4 limits and must be in writing, and must be accompanied with adequate supporting information. The public comment period will run from the date of publication of this public notice until February 14, 2003. 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 Astoria Generating Company'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, fact sheets, 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 Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 2 Headquarters,1 Hunters Point Plaza, 4740 21st Street, Long Island City, NY 11101-5401. Contact: Elizabeth Clarke at (718) 482-4079.

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