Comments and Request for Contested Case Hearing on the Coleto Creek Unit 2 Application for State Air Quality Permit No. 83778 and PSD Permit #PSD-TX-1118, submitted by IPA Coleto Creek L.L.C. Submitted by: Texas Lone Star Sierra Club Chapter Alamo San Antonio Regional Group Austin Regional Group Dallas Sierra Club Regional Group Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club Regional Group Sierra Club's Cross Timbers Regional Group (Denton County) February 11, 2008 Ms. LaDonna Castanuela Chief Clerk, MC-105 Texas Commission on Air Quality PO Box 13087 Austin, Texas 78711-3087 Dear Ms. Castanuela, Members of the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter including five regional groups are submitting preliminary comments on IPA Coleto Creek LLC's proposed new pulverized coal-fired boiler in Goliad County near Fannin, Texas. The Sierra Club in addition requests a contested case hearing on the proposed IPA Coleto Creek's Coleto Creek Unit 2 facility and its emissions from burning fossil fuels, including Western sub-bituminous coal and lower sulfur bituminous coal. The Coleto Creek Electric Generating Station has one existing boiler originally fired with lignite and in recent years apparently added sub-bituminous coal in Unit 1 through a permit amendment. The Sierra Club is a membership organization with members who will be affected by the IPA Coleto Creek proposed pulverized coal plant Coleto Creek Unit 2 in Goliad County, Texas, a 650 MW boiler with a maximum heat input rate of 9,200 Btu/kW-hr. The following preliminary comments are being filed over public health concerns with the IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application to be sited at the existing Coleto Creek plant near Fannin, Texas and the potential for impacts from the proposed supercritical, pulverized coal-fired boiler's emissions. We also request a Public Meeting on the Coleto Creek proposed expansion in Goliad County, Texas. The Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter has 25,000 members statewide and more than 10,000 members who are presently living in Goliad County, Karnes County, Bee County, Bexar County, Atascosa County, Guadalupe County, Wilson County, Travis County, Hays County, Bastrop County, Caldwell County, Comal County, and Williamson County; 200 members in the McLennan County Regional Group; 3,929 members in the Dallas Regional Group; 1,839 in the Fort Worth Regional Group; 6,000 members in the Austin regional group, and 505 members in the Denton/Collin County Regional Group. The Sierra Club is deeply concerned about air quality and environmental impacts from industrial sources such as power plants, especially coal-fired power plants since they are the largest sources of industrial air pollution in Texas. A number of Sierra Club members have requested that we seek a contested case hearing on their behalf. In addition, we have members who suffer from asthma and respiratory illness that would be directly affected by a new coal-burning power plant. We request a contested case hearing on the permit application. On behalf of the group members in Goliad County, Karnes County, Bee County, Bexar County, Atascosa County, Guadalupe County, Wilson County, Travis County, Hays County, Bastrop County, Caldwell County, Comal County, Williamson County, and the Waco and Dallas-Fort Worth areas, we oppose the proposed IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 application on the grounds that it is not protective of public health, quality of life, or private property that will be impacted by the air emissions from this new coal plant. We request a contested case hearing on the new IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application. IPA Coleto Creek seeks a permit authorization to construct another new coal-fired power plant in Texas at more than 8,000 tons per year released from an estimated 200-300 foot stack although the draft permit may allow lower levels than IPA's request for emissions of approximately 8,000 tpy. The Coleto Creek Unit 2 facility has significant air emissions indicated in the IPA permit application by burning a mix of fossil fuels, including subbituminous coal. Normal operating Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions: 1,753 tpy Normal operating Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions: 1,471 tpy Normal operating Carbon Monoxide (CO) emissions: 3,507 tpy Normal operating PM10 emissions: 954 tpy Normal operating VOC emissions: 100 tpy Normal operating Lead emissions: 0.27 tpy (540 pounds) Normal operating Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) emissions: 20 tpy Normal operating Mercury emissions: 0.066 tpy (132 pounds) Normal operating Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) emissions: 117 tpy Normal operating Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) emissions: 23 tpy Normal operating Ammonia (NH3) emissions: to be estimated later in the draft permit TOTAL Normal Projected Emissions: 7,990 tons per year 1. Nitrogen Oxides emissions from the Coleto Creek Unit #2 coal plant would impair the DFW area to come into attainment with the 1-hour and 8-hour ozone standards. The Waco-McLennan County area will undergo further deterioration moving closer toward ozone nonattainment. NOx emissions from the Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant will be nearly 4 tons per day (8,060 pounds a day) and would significantly eliminate the first round of emissions reductions paid for by the TERP program. The new power plant's emissions increase also wipe out the power plant reductions in response to the SB7 grandfathered power plant cleanup passed in 1999 by the Legislature. It would impair the Dallas SIP and make it more exceptionally difficult to come into compliance with the federal health-based ozone standards. Coleto Creek Unit 2 joins CPS Spruce Unit 2 in nearby Bexar County and three other proposed new coal-pet coke plants in Calhoun County with a combined total of 7,576 tpy of NOx emissions. Five new coal units in McLennan, Limestone and Robertson Counties will emit more than 11,893 tpy of new NOx. New McLennan County NOx emissions: Sandy Creek 1: 1,793 tpy NOx New McLennan County coal boiler Total: 1,793 tpy NOx New Robertson + Limestone Counties NOx emissions: NRG Limestone 3: 1,752 tpy NOx TXU Oak Grove 1 & 2: 6,286 tpy NOx Twin Oaks 3: 2,037 tpy NOx New coal boiler Total: 10,075 tpy NOx New McLennan + Robertson + Limestone Counties NOx emissions: McLennan Total: 1,793 tpy NOx Robertson Total: 8,323 tpy NOx Limestone Total: 1,752 tpy NOx Total Waco airshed new NOx: 11,893 tpy Calhoun County Navigation Dist. 3: 813 tpy NOx Formosa Plastics 1 & 2: 920 tpy NOx CPS Spruce 2: 1,752 tpy NOx Coleto Creek 2: 1,471 tpy NOx San Antonio upwind airshed new NOx: 4,956 tpy NOx TOTAL NEW AIRSHED NOX EMISSIONS: 16,849 tpy NOx 2. The emission limits for oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and sulfur pollution are not protective of public health for Goliad County, Karnes County, Bee County, Bexar County, Atascosa County, Wilson County residents and other downwind communities and citizens. IPA's Coleto Creek Unit 2 seeks to spew a maximum stack emissions combined total during normal operations of 4,178 tons per year, nearly 11.4 tons per day or 22,893 pounds per day of harmful Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Particulate Matter from the Unit 2 stack. Startup emissions will be significantly higher by twice or three times or even higher than normal operating emissions. 3. The IPA permit application and the draft permit do not consider or require offsets of any pollutant type at IPA's existing plant including Coleto Creek Unit 1. Nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and carbon pollution are of special concern. The permit application does not adequately examine the impact of the SO2 secondary particulate and NOx secondary particulate emissions on Class I areas such as Big Bend National Park. 4. The BACT analysis submitted in the permit application is seriously flawed and illegal since it does not fully explore the best available control technologies. Specifically, the Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant did not adequately consider Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) as part of their BACT analysis for NOx, PM, Mercury or SO2. 5. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application does not utilize best available control technologies for sulfur pollution, and does not appear to come close to the application filed prior to this one for the City Public Service plant in San Antonio. 6. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application does not adequately examine the opportunities for obtaining sulfur and mercury emissions reductions through coal washing. 7. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application does not adequately manage fugitive dust emissions either from coal and bottom ash and fly ash handling or during start-up and shutdown. 8. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application does not address global warming gases [CO2 may be as high as 6.0 million tons per year] which clearly should be regulated by the TCEQ. The TCEQ has the authority and the responsibility to regulate global warming gases and must do so. The recent settlement in the CPS Spruce 2 application was reached in part due to the willingness of City Public Service of San Antonio to partially offset its new global warming emissions through additional renewable energy purchases and increased expenditures on energy efficiency. Almost every major utility in Texas now acknowledges that global warming is occurring and they are beginning to take steps in their planning to account for potential carbon regulation. Many of the utilities are using proxy cost to estimate the cost of potential offsets, others are offsetting emissions, and others are building IGCC plants. 9. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application does not appear to adequately discuss control strategies for the emissions occurring during start-up, shutdown, maintenance, or malfunction. By law, the permit must contain enforceable limits during normal operation, and start up, shutdown, and maintenance are all normal operational conditions. 10. The mercury emissions for the IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant must meet the BACT standards. 11. Nitrogen Oxides emissions from the Coleto Creek Unit #2 coal plant would impair the ability of the San Antonio and Austin near-nonattainment areas to remain in ozone attainment with the 8-hour ozone standard. The San Antonio area is within 60-65 miles of the downwind air shed of the Coleto Creek Unit #2 plant site and would be the most adversely impacted of any major urban areas in Texas from the Coleto Creek Unit #2's NOx emissions. The Austn city area is within 120-135 miles of the downwind air shed of the Coleto Creek Unit #2 plant site and would be adversely impacted by the plant's NOx emissions. NOx emissions from the Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant will be nearly 4 tons per day (8,060 pounds a day) and would significantly eliminate the first round of emissions reductions paid for by the TERP program. The Cities of San Antonio and Austin may become new ozone nonattainment areas under the EPA's 8-hour ozone standard based on the high levels of power plant nitrogen oxides from ten new proposed coal-fired power plants emitting 16,849 tpy NOx upwind of Waco in the following areas: one in McLennan County, one in Limestone County, three in upwind Robertson County, one in Bexar county, three in Calhoun County, and one in Goliad county. The TCEQ has failed to evaluate the impact of high background NOx and Ozone upwind of Waco that will be transported throughout the regional airshed. 12. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 applicant must conduct Community Baseline Ambient Air Monitoring by IPA for ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and meteorological conditions, at the Coleto Creej plant site in Goliad County as required by PSD regulations on preconstruction ambient air and meteorological monitoring for one-year prior to submission of permit applications. 13. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2permit application does not include the diesel and particulate pollution that will result from the new rail line that would bring coal to this plant and from the additional trains, truck traffic and or mining operations that supply coal for this plant and the 9 other coal plants that would use powder river basin coal served by the trains plying the Trans Texas corridor. 14. Air toxics that would come from this plant are not adequately addressed. Also, the toxicology review also does not address short-term SO2 spikes. 15. Texas Effects Screening Levels (ESL's) have not been appropriately defined by the TCEQ. 16. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit should regulate radon and its carcinogenic byproducts that the public will be exposed to as a result of stack and fugitive radionuclide emissions from coal-fired power plants, especially considering the millions of tons of coal being burned. No radionuclides are listed in the permit application. 17. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 permit application must state what specific equipment makes and models will be used for the boiler and control equipment as well as the manufacturer guaranteed emissions levels from this equipment. 18. The TCEQ must implement baseline ambient air monitoring in the downwind Counties area for ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter from Coleto Creek Unit 2, but especially considering four proposed coal-fired power plant units in McLennan County and three more lignite-fired units proposed in Robertson County. Coleto Creek Unit 2 will also contribute to downwind impacts in the Waco regional airshed adding to the cumulative burden on the area. This represents the largest concentration of coal-fired and lignite-fired power plants in Texas with more than 140,700 tons per year of new coal plant air pollution. New power plant air pollution flying into the Waco regional airshed will be projected at about 385.5 tons per day or 770,959 pounds per day. 19. IPA needs to install and operate a mercury stack continuous emissions monitoring system when the Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant is constructed by 2009-2010 or later. 20. The IPA permit application does not include adequate annual stack testing and stack PM10 continuous emissions monitoring provisions for particulate matter. 21. The IPA permit application does not consider the critical need to include adequate annual radionuclide stack testing requirements and stack radon continuous emissions monitoring provisions for radionuclide gaseous emissions such as radon to assure a demonstration of continuous compliance through real-time stack monitoring. 22. The IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 applicant must conduct Plant Site Baseline Ambient Air Monitoring by IPA for ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and meteorological conditions, at the Coleto Creek plant site in Goliad County as required by PSD regulations on preconstruction ambient air and meteorological monitoring for one-year prior to submission of permit applications. 24. NOx emissions from the IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant will increase the contributions to high regional ozone levels and would adversely impact on the ability of the San Antonio four-county regional area and the Austin five-county regional area to remain in attainment with the 8-hour ozone standards. 25. The applicant IPA must conduct Plant Site Baseline Radionuclide Ambient Air Monitoring for Radon, Polonium 210 and Lead 210, at the Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant site in Goliad County as needed to demonstrate the public assurances that the plant's stack emissions are safe. 26. The TCEQ must implement community baseline radionuclide ambient air monitoring in the downwind Goliad County area for Radon, Polonium 210 and Lead 210 from IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2, especially considering four proposed coal-fired power plant units in McLennan County and three more new lignite-fired units permitted or proposed in Robertson County. New units will also contribute to the radionuclide impacts in the Limestone County, North Texas, East Texas and Waco-Central Texas regional airshed adding to the cumulative burden on the area. This represents the largest regional concentration of radionuclide-emitting coal-fired and lignite-fired power plants in Texas. 27. Transported Nitrogen Oxides emissions from the Goliad Unit 2 plant would impair the ability of the East Texas and Austin near nonattainment areas to remain in complete attainment with the 8-hour ozone standard. The citizens in Goliad County, Karnes County, Bee County, Bexar County, Atascosa County, Guadalupe County, Wilson County, Travis County, Hays County, Bastrop County, Caldwell County, Comal County, Williamson County and other down wind communities of San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Dallas-Fort Worth have serious concerns about the impacts that this plant will have on air quality, public health, quality of life, and economic growth in their communities. As is described in the following pages, the application for the proposed IPA Coleto Creek Unit 2 plant is severely flawed in several areas.