Electric plant settles with EPA
by TP staff
Feb 07, 2013 | 1820 views | 2 2 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An electric plant in Tracy will pay a $145,000 settlement for failing to properly operate and maintain equipment that monitors emissions.

The U.S. Environmental Protection announced the settlement with Thermal Energy Development Partnership on Jan. 28.

According to the EPA, the biomass plant at 14800 W. Schulte Road failed to monitor its output of sulfur dioxide, which can contribute to acid rain, for 30 months and did not monitor levels of nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, both contributors to air pollution, for 27 months.

EPA spokesman Michael Ardito said the agency did not know why the monitoring equipment was not properly operated, but as of Jan. 30, it was working as it should.

There were no known violations of emissions standards, according to a Jan. 28 press release from Jared Blumenfeld, EPA regional administrator.

However, the plant’s operating permits require it to continually monitor any pollution it releases.

“Facilities must comply with the requirements...,” Blumenfeld stated. “With some of the poorest air quality in the nation, the valley cannot afford to risk any further deterioration.”

Thermal Energy Development Partnership will pay the fine to the U.S. Treasury Department, according to Ardito.

Officials from Thermal Energy did not reply to a Jan. 31 request for comment.

• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231.
Comments
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walkingtall
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February 07, 2013
Great job EPA. This folks obviously don't care about the environment or the people of Tracy who have to breath their dirty air. My guess is that they will say they didn't know it wasn't working properly. Isn't the Biomass plant supposed to be checking to see what the reading are. How do you know if your emissions are in line if you aren't checking your air samples! Simple, we don't care to know until they get caught. The Biomass plant is one great neighbor to Tracy! "Not"
ChrisRoberts
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February 10, 2013
I wonder if it is cheaper to just pay the EPA fine, rather than follow protocol.


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