DEQ gives options for closure of PGE coal plant

DEQ has presented PGE with three new options for shutting down the Boardman coal-fired power plant, none of which pleased PGE.

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Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality gave three options on Monday for the shutdown of Portland General Electric Co.’s coal-fired power plant in Boardman in order to meet federal Clean Air standards.

The three proposals call for closing the coal plant earlier than the proposed 2020, but also require expensive pollution controls, which PGE said would increase costs substantially.

The DEQ has already spent four years developing haze reduction rules around Boardman. Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission approved rules last year requiring PGE to install between $520 million and $560 million in new controls over the next seven years to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen from the plant.

PGE proposed a plan earlier to install only $40 million in controls in exchange for an earlier shutdown in 2020. Regulators rejected that plan last week, however, saying it wouldn’t meet the Clean Air standards. The DEQ is looking to have final rules in place by the end of the year, and hopes to vet any new proposals this summer.


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