Air | Ecotrope

EPA: Boardman coal plant has been violating pollution rules since 1998

Ecotrope | Oct. 6, 2010 8:35 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:45 p.m.

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The Environmental Protection Agency says the Portland General Electric Boardman coal-fired power plant has been violating Clean Air Act pollution-control rules for more than a decade.

EPA issued a notice of violation last week saying boiler improvements PGE made at the Boardman plant in 1998 and 2004 triggered new regulations of the air pollutant sulfur dioxide, which contributes to acid rain. Under Clean Air Act rules, the company should have installed pollution control devices, EPA says, but it did not.

The notice threatens $37,500 in fines for each day the plant was operating without the proper pollution controls, but the company will have a chance to negotiate with the EPA.

PGE spokesman Steve Corson says his company disagrees that it has been violating the Clean Air Act. The company told state regulators at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that the boiler improvements at the Boardman plant should not trigger new pollution-control regulations, he said, and DEQ did not raise any red flags.

The company has been fighting a lawsuit against the Sierra Club on this issue for a couple years.

The Sierra Club, which has a national anti-coal campaign, wants the Boardman plant to shut down before 2020 and is arguing the EPA should take action to force an early closure.

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