The new Draft Air Permit is out for the Laurentian “biomass” burner in Hibbing, and Comments are open until August 18, 2008.  This is the “clean energy” plant that was violating its air permit and was fined.  Now we’ve got the new one… what’s different?

Notice of Draft Air Permit

Draft Air Permit

Draft Air Permit – Technical Support Document

Comments should be sent, BY AUGUST 18, to:

Toni Volkmeier, Air Quality Permits Section
Industrial Division, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-8717 – Fax


I noticed in the permit’s Technical Support Document that although the federal rules have been vacated, they are issuing it “as if” noting that the federal rules were incorporated into the Minnesota Rules.  But as Alan notes, if the rules were vacated because they were ineffective, insufficient to protect the environment, what good is that? Here’s direct from the Technical Document:

2. Regulatory and/or Statutory Basis

New Source Review
The facility is an existing major source under New Source Review regulations. No changes are authorized by this permit.

Part 70 Permit Program
The facility is a major source under the Part 70 permit program.

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)
The existing wood boiler (EU007) is subject to New Source Performance Standards Subpart Db. The applicability is not affected by the changes made through this permit action.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)
The wood boiler (EU007) is permitted as subject to NESHAPs Subpart DDDDD, which has been vacated.  All operating conditions remain the same; however, when the CEMS requirements were consolidated into a single group (GP003), any citations that were previously Subpart DDDDD requirements were changed to Minnesota Rules requirements.

Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM)
Since there are no actual changes to emission units, CAM is not an issue at this time.

Minnesota State Rules
Portions of the facility are subject to the following Minnesota Standards of Performance:
• Minn. R. 7011.0510 Standards of Performance for Existing Indirect Heating Equipment
• Minn. R. 7011.0715 Standards of Performance for Post-1969 Industrial Process Equipment
• Minn. R. 7011.2300 Standards of Performance for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines
No changes to applicable requirements result from the changes made through this permit amendment.

So here’s my question… if the MPCA is issuing permits under federal rule, and if they’re doing their Part 70 Permits under federal delegation, and where the rule has been vacated because it didn’t cut it, on what basis, under what authority, are they issuing permits?  This seems to be an area where they’re wide open to challenge!  I would think that any permit issued under the Minnesota adoption of those rules that were deemed inadequate could be thrown out rather easily…

2 Responses to “Laurentian “biomass” Air Permit Draft”

  1. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Kandiyohi burner moves to Rockford Says:

    […] LEGALECTRIC POST: Laurentian “biomass” Air Permit Draft (second time around) […]

  2. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Kandiyohi burner shot down twice yesterday! Says:

    […] think that Dill and Rukavina would have learned with that Laurentian biomass burner that violated its permit and had to be shut down, the MPCA had to rework the permit so that it could […]

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