Energy | Ecotrope

Commission approves Boardman 2020 closure

Ecotrope | Dec. 9, 2010 8:19 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:43 p.m.

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The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission has unanimously approved new regional haze rules for Portland General Electric’s Boardman facility that promise an end to Oregon’s only coal-fired power plant by Dec. 31, 2020.

The vote repeals earlier rules that allowed the plant to operate through 2040, and it trims back the amount of new pollution controls the plant will be required to install short-term in exchange for an early closure date. PGE has agreed to stop burning coal at the site by the end of 2020, but under the plan adopted by the Commission, the company can also choose to close the plant sooner.

The rules now go to the Environmental Protection Agency for final approval, and PGE will begin examining options for replacing the coal-fired power with less polluting alternatives such as natural gas and renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal. The EPA is expected to weigh in on the rules by March.

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