Plant Must Control Dangerous Air Emissions
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Groups Warn That Healy Coal Plant Cannot Operate Without New Clean Air Act Permit

Plant must control dangerous air emissions

Conservation and ratepayers groups today issued a warning to the Golden Valley Electric Association and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority that reactivating the mothballed Healy coal-fired power plant, located just 5 miles from Denali National Park and Preserve, would require stringent new air permits under the Clean Air Act.

Attorneys from public interest environmental law firm Trustees for Alaska and the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, on behalf of the Alaska Center for the Environment, Sierra Club, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Denali Citizens Council, National Parks Conservation Association, HEA Member Forum and the MEA Ratepayers Alliance, told project proponents that the $30-45 million rehab of the neverused facility will be subject to strict permitting requirements to adequately control dangerous air emissions, including mercury and dozens of carcinogens.

The warning came in a six-page letter addressed to Brian Newton, Chief Executive Officer of the Golden Valley Electric Association.

“The facility has been mothballed for so long that regulatory changes have occurred, global climate change has become a significant issue facing Alaska and the world, and public concerns about this facility have multiplied,” wrote attorneys Brian Litmans and Sanjay Narayan.

Denali Citizens Council Board Member Anne Beaulaurier agrees: “The only way to ensure public health and air quality are protected is to take the plant through an up-todate permitting process to fully gauge the proposal’s impact and ensure the most protective standards under the Clean Air Act are met.”

“Under existing agreements, Homer Electric Association ratepayers will already be saddled with up to $47 million in costs to re-start this experimental coal plant. With additional costs to come into compliance with required air quality permits, the Healy Coal Plant adds up to a bad deal for HEA ratepayers” said Joel Cooper, spokesperson for the Homer Electric Association Members Forum.

Click here to read the full press release (PDF).

Click here to read the letter to Golden Valley Electric Association’s CEO (PDF).