Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DEP Reissues Draft Discharge Permit for Brunner Island Electric Generating Station

Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120


John Repetz, DEP

DEP Reissues Draft Discharge Permit for Brunner Island Electric Generating Station

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reissued a revised draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to Brunner Island LLC for the operation of its 1,490-megawatt coal- and natural gas-fired power plant, which discharges treated industrial wastewater and cooling water to the Susquehanna River.

“This is DEP’s fourth attempt to update Brunner Island’s discharge permit due to changing federal discharge guidelines,” said DEP South-central Regional Director Joe Adams. “While the plant continues to operate under the terms of its previous permit, it is long past time to update and finalize the terms of a new permit that will be in effect for the coming years.”

The revised draft permit addresses revisions to compliance dates and requires studies of any temperature-related impacts on the Susquehanna River due to its operation as a peaking facility. It includes additional reporting requirements for changes in plant operations that could lead to dramatic changes in thermal discharges. Sudden temperature changes in the plant’s discharge channel have resulted in fish kills. The draft permit also extends by two years dates to comply with effluent limits for certain wastewater streams.

The NPDES permit Brunner Island is currently operating under expired in 2011. In the interim, DEP has administratively extended the terms of that permit, and issued three draft permits, the most recent in April 2017. That draft was subject to a 30-day public comment period and a public hearing conducted on July 24, 2017. Based on comments received, and changes made in September 2017 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to its wastewater guidelines, DEP decided to re-draft the permit for a fourth time. While EPA may ultimately decide to revoke, amend, or leave undisturbed the guidelines currently in effect, DEP must utilize them in NPDES permits in accordance with the Clean Water Act.

A notice of the revised draft permit will be published in the PA Bulletin on January 20, 2018. That will begin a 30-day public comment period which ends on February 20, 2018. DEP will consider any comments received before deciding on whether to issue a final permit.

The draft permit is available for public review at the DEP South-central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110, Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM Please call 717-705-4732 to schedule an appointment. It can also be accessed on DEP’s South-central Regional webpage at http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/SouthcentralRegion/Community%20Information/Pages/Brunner-Island-NPDES.aspx

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