HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has settled its administrative enforcement action against PPL Montana LLC (PPL) for violations of the Clean Air Act of Montana at its J.E. Corette facility in Billings.
PPL has an Air Quality Operating Permit for operating the J.E. Corette Steam Electric Station. The permit establishes the particulate matter emission limit of 0.26 lb/MMBtu. Emission test results for the coal-fired boiler from the Dec. 6, 2010, compliance test indicated that the particulate emissions exceeded the limit at 0.339 lb/MMBtu.
PPL agreed to pay the DEQ an administrative penalty in the amount of $32,000 to resolve the violation. Larry Alheim of the department’s Enforcement Division said that PPL will pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $8,000. The remainder of the penalty, $24,000, is suspended contingent upon PPL’s completion of a supplemental environmental project (SEP).
For the project PPL will spend at least $36,000 to pave approximately 13,000 square feet of the gravel portion of the PPL facility to mitigate airborne particulate matter emissions and improve air quality in the vicinity. This area of the facility is heavily used by approximately 550 18-wheel trucks and 8-wheel pup trailers per year. Alheim stated that PPL estimates that the SEP will reduce fugitive particulate emissions from plant roads by approximately 16 percent or a quarter-ton per year.
Alheim also said that PPL Montana notified the DEQ immediately upon learning of the test results and took immediate action to adjust the way they operate the plant. As a result of the action, the plant has been operating in compliance since.