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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DEP Shelves Waste Coal Power Plant Due To Delay

Delay in Construction
Shelves New Power Generation Plant

PITTSBURGH -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that the air quality plan approval that allowed Robinson Power Co. to build the Beech Hollow Power Plant in Washington County is no longer valid after the company allowed construction to lapse for more than 18 months.


“The federal Clean Air Act and Pennsylvania’s Air Pollution Control Act invalidates an air quality plan approval if there is no construction on the emission source for a period of 18 months. Because Robinson was unable to comply with that requirement, we are advising the company that its plan approval has lapsed,” said Southwest Regional Director George Jugovic Jr.

In a letter to DEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed with and supported the department’s decision citing the federal Clean Air Act.

Documents submitted by Robinson Power and site inspections by DEP between April 2008 and October 2009 revealed the absence of construction work on the waste coal power plant.

DEP originally approved the plan on April 1, 2005. That approval authorized Robinson Power to begin building the 272-net megawatt waste-coal electric-generation plant in Robinson Township on land adjacent to the Champion refuse pile. Robinson Power planned to use 37 million tons of waste coal at the refuse pile to power the proposed plant.

DEP is reviewing a mining permit application made by Champion Processing Inc., which owns the refuse pile, but the review of that permit application is independent of the air quality permit issue.

To proceed with the project, Robinson Power must apply to DEP for a new air quality plan.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us or call 412-442-4000.

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