The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) will be holding two meetings to obtain public comments on a proposed major modification to the existing Air Quality Permit #1052 for Tucson Electric Power (TEP) Irvington/H.Wilson Sundt Generating Station located at 3950 Irvington Road.
The meetings will be an open house on Feb.15, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and a formal public hearing on March 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, Tucson, in Conference Room 1108.
The official Public Comment Period, during which anyone can submit written comments to the PDEQ regarding this project, began on Feb. 9 and runs through March 12.
TEP is proposing to modernize the power generating station by replacing two 1950's era steam units with ten natural gas fired combustion engines that will have a generating capacity of nearly 19 MW each. The project expects to cause an increase in emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter (fine particles PM2.5 and coarse particles PM10), nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds over time. This increase in emissions makes the permit modification subject to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting requirements. According to information provided to PDEQ by TEP, they plan to expand renewable energy resources to 30 percent by 2030. The new engines are able to ramp up more quickly to meet peak load needs for the community and help balance the variability associated with solar and wind energy generation.
PDEQ has worked with TEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and consultants to create a permit that will meet regulations and protect public health while allowing TEP to update its facility to increase electricity generated for future customer needs and manage the fluctuations from energy generated by renewable resources. All documents pertaining to the proposed permit can be found on PDEQ's website.
For additional information about the permit modification, call PDEQ at (520) 724-7400. Submit a comment regarding the draft permit by March 12, by email: Rupesh.Patel@pima.gov, mail or drop off to: PDEQ, Air Permits, 33. N. Stone Ave., Suite 700 • Tucson, AZ 85701.
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