Coal plant comments | Arkansas Blog

Coal plant comments


A second public hearing is scheduled on the coal-burning power plant proposed  for Hempstead County. It will be in Hope Sept. 18


The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will hold a second public hearing at Hope September 18, 2008, to receive comments on a proposal by American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEP) for a coal-fired electric power plant in Hempstead County. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Library Auditorium at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, 2500 South Main Street. In addition to comments received at the hearing, written comments on the proposal will be accepted until September 23, 2008.

            ADEQ previously opened a public comment period on a draft air emissions permit for the facility, which included a public hearing at Hope July 12, 2007. The original version of the draft permit was based on implementation of a provision in federal air quality regulations known as the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR); however the CAMR was vacated by a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia earlier this year. As a result of that ruling, the proposed AEP facility is now required to comply with another provision of federal regulations dealing with controls for Hazardous Air Pollutants (commonly referred to as a 112(g) permit). AEP submitted an application to incorporate the 112(g) permit requirements into the original draft permit, and only comments on the revised portions of the draft permit will be considered by the ADEQ during its remaining review process involving the permit application.

            AEP proposes to construct a new coal-fired electric power generating facility near Fulton in Hempstead County, designated as the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant .The main steam generating unit will consist of one ultra-supercritical pulverized coal boiler fueled by sub-bituminous coal and natural gas which will power a single steam turbine designed for base load operation with a nominal net power output of 600 megawatts. 

            The ADEQ technical staff has reviewed the revised application and tentatively decided to incorporate the revisions into the draft permit for the proposed power plant, subject to review of public comments received at next month’s hearing and prior to the September 23, 2008, comment deadline. In addition to new comments relating to the revised portions of the permit application (the 112 (g) permit provisions), all comments made during the original public comment period last year will be considered by the ADEQ before a final permit decision is made. Persons who comment during both of the designated comment periods for the draft permit establish legal standing to appeal any final ADEQ permit decision.

            Both oral and written comments will be accepted at the public hearing, but written comments are preferred in the interest of accuracy. Written comments also will be accepted if received by 4:30 p.m. September 23, 2008. Written comments should be sent to: ADEQ Air Permits Branch, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118. Electronic mail comments may be sent to

            Interested persons wishing to examine the permit application and staff findings and recommendations should contact the ADEQ Air Permits Branch at the above address during normal business hours. Technical information on the draft permit is available by contacting Thomas Rheaume, Engineer, in the ADEQ Air Permits Branch; telephone 501-682-0744.

            A copy of the draft permit and application is available for inspection during normal business hours at the Hempstead County Public Library, 500 South Elm Street, in Hope. Copies of the draft permit and permit application are also available at the ADEQ’s North Little Rock office. A fee may be charged for photocopying costs. The documents also are available on the ADEQ’s Internet web site at:

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