T-Minus 457 days and counting!

On January 31st, 2013, the EPA published a new rule known as Industrial Boiler MACT(Maximum Achievable Control Technology) that impacts our PB10 biomass boiler. Under this new rule the emissions limits for particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), Mercury and HCl (acid gas) become more stringent. For PB10 the PM limit will drop by a whopping 2/3 from the current 0.10 #/million BTU of fuel input (MMBTU) to a new limit of 0.037 #/MMBTU! The project will also reduce CO emissions from the boiler. Mercury (Hg) and HCl (acid gas) are already very low and are within the new limits. This rule requires this new equipment to be operational by Jan 31st, 2016.

The new equipment will include:

  • Replacing the current particulate wet scrubber with a new style scrubber to improve reliability and do preliminary fine particulate removal.
  • Installing a Wet Electrostatic Precipitator (WESP) for the remainder of particulate capture.
  • Replace our current Over Fire Air (OFA) system with a newer design to improve combustion efficiency and reduce CO emissions.
  • We have chosen suppliers with lots of experience who build robust and reliable systems. This total package will cost between $10 and 12 million! We’re planning to begin construction in the spring in order to meet the compliance date of Jan 31, 2016.

    We have filed our project application with the Department of Ecology and are now in the approval timeline. We expect that Ecology will announce a public comment period and will also hold a public hearing in mid-December. This is really just an emissions reduction project and should proceed quickly. While the improved combustion air system should allow us to further reduce the remaining oil burned in the boiler, the overriding objective is to reduce the PB10 emissions to meet the EPA required MACT limits. When Ecology hosts the public hearing for this project we invite you to attend and show support for our efforts to further reduce our impact on the community.