JULY 2009

Oregon commission adopts stringent pollution controls for PGE’s coal-fired power plant
Plan put in place to reduce haze pollution

The Environmental Quality Commission, DEQ’s policy and rulemaking board, approved rules adopting Oregon’s Regional Haze Plan that includes requirements for stringent pollution controls for Portland General Electric’s Boardman coal-fired power plant. This decision will result in significant visibility improvements and reduced pollution for Oregon’s Class I wilderness areas and national parks as well as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The plan calls for the installation of pollution controls for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in 2011 and for sulfur dioxide in 2014. The controls are required by the federal Clean Air Act for “best available retrofit technology” or “BART” and would coincide with the installation of previously required controls to reduce mercury pollution.

A third stage requires the installation of additional NOx controls by 2018 to minimize Boardman’s NOx emissions. DEQ’s proposal would reduce plant emissions from the Boardman power plant by about 21,000 tons/year. This represents a 66 percent reduction in Boardman’s emissions by 2014 and an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2018.

The commission’s consideration of this rule package was initially scheduled for April 2009, but was delayed to allow DEQ staff to thoroughly evaluate over 1200 public comments and develop a recommendation for the commission.