ADEM Joint Public Hearing on Proposed Permits for Alabama Power

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ADEM Joint Public Hearing on Proposed Permits for Alabama Power
PEP Comments
October 15, 2020

Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) is a non-profit organization of local business leaders who share the vision of applying science-based environmental best practices to business and community issues. PEP members support strong economic growth balanced with sound environmental stewardship. Our 220+ member companies represent large and small manufacturers, shipbuilders, engineering firms, industrial suppliers, and support services. Members, including Airbus, Evonik, and Austal, to name a few, employ more than 22,000 local individuals. PEP members routinely go above and beyond government regulations and compliance to implement innovative projects to reduce their carbon footprint and protect and conserve the local natural resources that make the Alabama Gulf Coast a desirable place to live and work. 

PEP supports ADEM issuing the proposed Air permit to allow Alabama Power to add two new natural gas-fired units at Plant Barry. We also support the proposed renewal of the Title V Major Source Operating Permit and proposed reissuance of the National Pollutant Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for various discharges to the Mobile River. 

Regarding the proposed two new natural gas-fired units, this is a winning proposition. The units will provide efficient and cost-effective power to Alabama Power’s customers, support future economic growth and development in the area, add 300 jobs during construction, all while continuing the company’s long-term efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Since 2007, Alabama Power has reduced their carbon emissions by 38%.

ADEM has reviewed the permit and finds the following critical facts:

  • The project is using Best Available Control Technology for control of emissions, including for nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOCs, and carbon dioxide. 
  • The maximum combined pollutant concentrations from Barry Steam Plant will continue to be less than the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAASQ). These levels are set by the EPA to protect human health and welfare. Alabama Power’s emissions will remain lower than these levels. 
  • Because the levels are below the NAASQ, ADEM finds that there will be no additional impact by air, and therefore no additional impact of ground or water pollution on soils or vegetation.

Based on ADEM’s permit review, PEP supports ADEM issuing these permits.