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Northern Michigan University (NMU) Ripley Addition

STATUS: In progress with opposition

TYPE: Coal



BACKGROUND: On May 12, 2008, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit to Northern Michigan University (NMU). The permit authorized construction of a boiler at the Ripley Heating Plant to provide electrical power and heat to NMU's facilities through the burning of wood, coal, and natural gas.

On June 13 Sierra Club filed a petition for review of the permit with the federal Environmental Appeals Board (EAB).  In February 2009, EAB ruled MDEQ “clearly erred in selecting BACT limits for the proposed boiler's emissions of SO2” and remanded the permit for MDEQ to “analyze whether CO2 and N2O emissions from the CFB boiler should be limited pursuant to BACT.”  This ruling reflected a political determination by the Obama EPA to require consideration of CO2 emissions in air permit applications, and effectively revoked NMU's permit to begin construction of the plant.  In June, NMU abandoned the project.

SOURCES: http://enewsusa.blogspot.com/2009/02/epa-appeals-board-remands-another-coal.html 
http://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/EAB_Web_Docket.nsf/Recent~Additions/06DBEC31EBFD8C3E852575620052318B/$File/Denying%20and%20Remanding…79.pdf  http://www.sierraclub.org/environmentallaw/coal/getBlurb.aspx?case=mi-nmu.aspx http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/502196.html

LAST UPDATED:  November 24, 2010