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RBC I The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a Clean Air Act settlement with Utah-based Deseret Generation and Transmission Co-operative (Deseret) resolving alleged violations at the Bonanza Power Plant on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation near Vernal, Utah.
According to a complaint filed with the settlement, Deseret allegedly violated provisions of the New Source Performance Standards under the Clean Air Act by emitting excess particulate pollution at the Bonanza plant.
The agreement requires Deseret to pay $35,000 in penalties and implement new procedures for controlling particulate emissions during startup and shutdown of the coal-fired boiler at Bonanza. Deseret will also finance a $260,000 vehicle replacement program to replace at least five fleet vehicles in the area to use natural gas.
“This settlement secures Deseret’s commitment to significantly reduce emissions of particulate pollution and visible emissions from the Bonanza plant during startup and shutdown events and improve visibility in the surrounding area,” said Mike Gaydosh, EPA’s enforcement director in Denver. “Additionally, the conversion of the company’s vehicles to natural gas will benefit local air quality by significantly reducing emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulates.”
The EPA alleges that Deseret’s pollution control device was bypassed during startup and shutdown events resulting in excess particulate matter emissions. As part of the settlement, Deseret has agreed to route emissions through the control device during startup and shutdown, resulting in significant emissions reductions.
The air pollutant reductions achieved through this settlement will directly benefit surrounding communities, including low-income and minority populations.
Particulate pollution contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems, including heart and respiratory illnesses. In addition, fine particulate pollution is the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas.
Nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide can also have adverse impacts on public health, especially among children, the elderly and others sensitive to pollution. Nitrogen oxides also contribute to ozone formation, a local air quality concern in the Uinta Basin.