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DEP approves air quality permit for power plant

The state Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday its approval of an air quality permit for a proposed 1050-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Salem Township

Moxie Energy LLC intends to build the $800-million Moxie Freedom facility on a 150-acre parcel in an industrial zone on Mingle Inn Road, off U.S. Route 11.

DEP needed assurance emissions from the plant would not exceed limits, so Moxie Energy had to put together an air quality plan and hold a public hearing — which it did, on July 7.

“The application received a thorough review by the department and we determined that Moxie’s proposal satisfies applicable emissions control requirements, including use of best available control technology and lowest achievable emission rate,” said Mike Bedrin, director of DEP’s Northeast Regional Office, in a prepared statement. “This plant will also have emissions testing, record keeping and continuous emission monitoring requirements to assist DEP in monitoring emissions from the facility to help ensure compliance.”

Moxie Energy plans to use a combination of gas and steam turbines, each of which will use what DEP called “pipeline-quality” natural gas, to produce energy. The burners will be equipped with selective catalytic reduction to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions, as well as oxidation catalysts to minimize carbon monoxide and volatile organic compound emissions, DEP stated.

Moxie Energy cleared another hurdle last week when it received approval from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to use up to 90,000 gallons of water per day in the energy generation process. The water will come from wells on-site.

The Moxie Freedom site is near the Talen Energy nuclear power plant, which will enable the gas-fired facility to tap into the existing electric grid. The Williams Companies’ Transco interstate pipeline is also nearby to provide a supply of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. Salem Township supervisors gave the Moxie Freedom project zoning approval on Nov. 19, 2014.

Construction of the Moxie Freedom plant would take 30 to 32 months and employ an average of 200 workers, according to the company’s website.

However, it was not immediately clear if there are further requirements for construction besides a state Department of Transportation highway occupancy permit, or whether there is a start date to build the facility. Moxie Energy LLC president and CEO Aaron Samson did not return messages for comment.

In related news, smog component spike triggers Pittsburgh air quality alert.

eskrapits@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2072

This article was from The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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