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In re: Tucson Electric Power

12/03/2018
Case Number:PSD Appeal No. 18-02
ELR Citation:48 ELR 41404

The Sierra Club petitions the Environmental Appeals Board (“Board”) to review a decision by the Department of Environmental Quality for Pima County, Arizona (“Pima County”) to issue a federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) permit to Tucson Electric Power. The permit authorizes Tucson Electric Power to construct and operate up to ten additional electricitygenerating units (“Units”) at its Irvington Generating Station facility. Sierra Club challenges Pima County’s determination that PSD requirements do not apply to the nitrogen oxide (“NOx”) emissions from the modified facility. Although the permit contains a cap that limits NOx emissions below the level triggering PSD requirements, Sierra Club argues that the permit’s monitoring requirements are not adequate to render the NOx emissions cap practically enforceable and thus PSD requirements should apply.

The permit imposes several monitoring requirements to verify compliance with the NOx emissions cap. Those requirements include, among other things: (i) biennial performance (stack) tests to determine how much NOx each Unit emits; (ii) calculation of monthly and yearly NOx emissions using information from the required stack tests and monitoring of ongoing operations; and (iii) monitoring of the pollution control devices for the new Units to ensure that the devices are working properly. Pima County concluded that these compliance monitoring requirements were sufficient to make the NOx emissions cap practically enforceable.

Held: The Board denies Sierra Club’s Petition for Review. Sierra Club has not carried its burden of showing that Pima County clearly erred or abused its discretion in determining that the NOx emissions cap is practically enforceable.