Coal ash, remember that big impoundment release, photo above, not all that long ago?

Good grief, it was a DECADE ago, and it’s still a mess.  From the EPA page:

EPA’s response to the TVA coal ash release in Kingston, TN

And another ash impoundment failure, our friends at Duke Energy, from EPA page:

EPA’s response to the Duke Energy coal ash spill in Eden, NC

It’s an issue in Minnesota too:

Who cares?  Well, once a rule is proposed, there’s not much variation, because if there is, then it has to start all over again and go through this process.  This is proposed to “amend” the 2015 final rule, so it can’t be good.  Speak up NOW!  Go to EPA’s Regulations.gov and make Comments under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0286 — open for 45 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, which is/was when?  Figure it’s published NOW, and just do it.

From the EPA’s site, here’s the rule proposed to gut the 2015 final rule, because gutting regulation, that’s what this administration does:

View a pre-publication version of the proposed rule

And here’s the poop cut and pasted direct from the source:

Proposed Amendments to the National Regulations (Phase One)

On March 1, 2018, EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed the first of two rules that proposes to amend the April 2015 final rule. The proposal:

  1. Addresses provisions of the final rule that were remanded back to the Agency on June 14, 2016 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit;
  2. Provides states with approved CCR permit programs (or EPA where it is the permitting authority) under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act the ability to set certain alternative performance standards; and
  3. Addresses one additional issue that has arisen since the April 2015 publication of the final rule.

EPA is proposing six provisions that would allow states or EPA the ability to incorporate flexibilities into their coal ash permit programs. These flexibilities would also be available to facilities with U.S. EPA-issued CCR permits.

Additionally, the proposal:

  • Clarifies the type and magnitude of non-groundwater releases that would require a facility to comply with some or all of the corrective action procedures set forth in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in sections 257.96 through 257.98 in meeting their obligation to clean up the release.
  • Adds boron to the list of constituents in Appendix IV of 40 CFR part 257 that trigger corrective action.
  • Determines the requirement for proper height of woody and grassy vegetation for slope protection.
  • Revises the current regulations to allow the use of CCR in the construction of final cover systems for CCR units closing pursuant to 40 CFR section 257.101 that are closing with waste-in-place.
  • Adds a new paragraph to 40 CFR section 257.103 to allow facilities to qualify for the alternative closure provisions based on the continued need to manage non-CCR wastestreams in the unit.

EPA will be accepting written comments on this proposal through Regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0286 for 45 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

Additionally, EPA will hold a hearing on this proposed rule. Additional information about the hearing will be posted in the docket for this proposal and on this website in the near future.

And more, cut and pasted from EPA:

Yes, we know it doesn’t work. Learned that in stopping the Mesaba Project:

IGCC – Pipedreams of Green and Clean

There were IGCC – coal gasification – plants proposed all over the country, and they fell, one by one.  Some not fast enough, the Kemper project, in today’s Guardian, is an example of protracted misrepresentations to keep that money coming in to fund the scam:

The best thing that came from the failed Mesaba Project was the information about the technology that hadn’t been disclosed before.  We were able to use this information all over the country to stop these plants, and stop this one before Minnesotans were utterly and hopelessly screwed as they were in Mississippi with Southern’s Kemper and Indiana with Duke’s Edwardsport. Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, it’s that time of year again, and today’s the deadline for Comments for the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing:

PPSA_Overland Comment FINAL

And there ya have it.  Until next year…

Good try, DOE Secretary Perry, but you’re outta here!  Yes, it’s true, a tRump stacked FERC said “NO!” to a proposed rule to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, generation with 90+ days of fuel on hand, outmoded generation plants that are oh-so-suffering while they try to compete in the wholesale “free market” and sinking south fast because costs of production are high and market prices are higher.  I’m shocked, utterly shocked, and very pleasantly surprised!

What did Perry ask for?  Here’s the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

Secretary Rick Perry’s Letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Bottom line?  Gotta snort, “Now that a quorum has been restored at the Commission, I am confident…” (click for larger version):

SOL!!! 

That’s SNORT out loud… how’s that workin’ for ya, Secretary Perry?

What he thought was a slam dunk was a 5-0 rejection of preferential “out of market” treatment for certain generators.  Nope, ain’t gonna happen.

Here’s the FERC Order, straight from the horse’s mouth.  I’m most appreciative of the many articles and posts that include the primary document.  It’s crucial to be able to read the FERC Order.  This is REAL NEWS!

FERC-20180108-3061(32617655)_No2CoalNukeSubsidy

There are a lot of people railing and wailing about subsidies these days, but it’s very lopsided, and I’m not hearing the complaints about all the subsidies of coal and nuclear.  If you want to complain about subsidies, slash them across the board.  “Free market” right, the essence of capitalism, right?

Look who’s in the news!

January 5th, 2018

Sustainable: Planners charting Minnesota’s energy future

Yes, we all know that Mike Bull wrote most of the energy law now in place!  But there’s no mention of those many years of work at House Regulated Industries Committee though…

And we all know that there are some big holes and problems with the wind siting statutes, rules, and standards.  What will it take to get some of the problems worked through, like some respectful wind siting standards?  We’re just starting to see, at long last, after years and years of complaints, some Public Utilities Commission action on wind noise issues.

Bent Tree_Noise Monitoring and Monitoring Report_20179-135856-01

Siting will have to be addressed, because despite sound modeling that says “no problem,” there are indeed problems.  Despite shadow flicker modeling that says “no problem,” there are indeed problems.

Preventative siting is long overdue and needs to start NOW!  And what about those already  affected?  “Buy the Farm” for wind?  It’s overdue.  Action after the fact is not the best of options, prevention is always the key, but for those now attempting to live in untenable circumstances, foisted on them by the nuisance moving into their community, and permitted by the Commission, what are the options?

Wind project in southern Minnesota gets pushback

Hey Mikey, how ’bout helping get to some solutions???