Furthermore, if the settlement is approved by all partner groups, P4G will not have a final permit in hand until its amended permit application goes through EPD’s public comment process, which will take at least 30 days. Meanwhile, EPA has announced new rules on new sources of carbon pollution which would apply to Plant Washington unless it can secure a final permit before the rules are officially published and begin construction within one year of that date. We expect those new rules to be published later this month.
Plant Washington is not designed to capture its carbon emissions, so meeting the newly proposed rules could be a deal-beaker for the plant. As Kurt Ebersbach, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, pointed out, even if they did receive the permit in time, it is unlikely that construction could begin.
“Based on filings by Power4Georgians in this case, it is clear that they have not done engineering, selected the boilers, lined up investors, or met any of the criteria that EPA is looking at to exempt a new source from complying with the carbon pollution rule.”
SACE believes the agreement sends a message to those who continue to support Plant Washington: you can’t ignore the public health costs of dirty energy sources any more. We hope the remaining EMCs involved in Plant Washington will look into cleaner, cheaper ways to provide electricity to their members.