Ken relaxing at Lock & Dam #3 with the Priarie Island nuclear plant in the background.

Let me see if I understand this… Prairie Island has diesel generators that they fought like hell about 10 years ago to get classified as “pollution control equipment” so that they’d be exempt from utility personal property tax. These engines, after all, kick in to keep the cooling system going when there’s a power outage and prevent nuclear meltdown so they must be pollution control equipment, eh? (Imagine the mind that thought up that argument, and the yahoos that bought it!) Anyway, these pollution control engines spew crap into the air like any diesel, including Nitorgen Oxide (no, not Nitrous Oxide, it’s not a laughing matter). So now they’re at the Pollution Control agency because they’re in violation of their Air Quality Permit and want to avoid New Source Review. Uh-huh… right… and so what do they propose? Heaven forbid they would have to abide by their permit — nope, no sir, what’s proposed is to raise the emissions limits and decrease the fuel they burn (therefore decreasing emissions, duh). Compliance isn’t contemplated.
Primary documents:




It seems to me that this is unreasonable, given that it’s pollution control equipment, after all. Now supposedly biodiesel isn’t as NOx-ious as regular diesel, so why aren’t they required to burn biodiesel? They could keep it warm in the winter by nestling it in with the casks? And as a former truckdriver, cutting the fuel usage limit from 83,955 to 70,238 gallons/month is bizarre. What exactly are they doing out there? In a truck, it’s about 780 gallons from here to California, multiple drops in LA and produce pickups, and back home with multiple drops. So every month, they’re burning the equivalent of 100 trips to CA and back? How often are they using these generators and what for? If the plant has such a laudable capacity factor, why are they running the diesels at all? Methinks I’d better ask Michael Wadley about this, now that he’s off the Mesaba Project and back to boring old nuclear, he could use a little excitement!

And here I thought it was an emissions increase for the garbage burner across the highway… silly me… but look at this blurb in the paper, it’s called the “steam plant.” HUH?!?!?!

Xcel proposing changes to limits

The Republican Eagle

Published Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will open a public comment period on Wednesday for an Xcel Energy air emission permit proposal at the companyĆ¢??s Red Wing steam plant.

The major amendment in reissuance of the permit is to increase the emission limit for nitrogen oxides. The public comment period runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 14. Contact MPCAĆ¢??s Trevor Shearen at (651-) 296-8638 for more information.

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