Cogen Plant Cited

Cogen Rumors True

There have been complaints against the cogen plant, and there was a citation issued.
Here is a statement:

NOV Issued to SPI –Loyalton on February 24, 2010

In response to Loyalton resident complaints that a black, sticky ash was being deposited on vehicles and outdoor structures, the Air District worked with the State of California Air Resources Board to monitor Loyalton’s air and collect ash samples from the facility. The monitoring results indicated

  1. Chemical and morphological similarities exist between ash collected from the facility and particles collected from air monitoring.
  2. Particles collected from air monitoring were subjected to high temperature combustion, unlike typical particulate emissions from residential stoves and fireplaces.

Due to contract negotiation problems with Nevada Energy, SPI elected to temporarily shut down the facility on October 1, 2009. The plant resumed operation on January 10, 2010.

On Feb 22, 2010 the Air District received complaints from residents that ash had been a problem since January 10. On Feb 24, 2010, the Air District issued a notice of violation which required immediate action by SPI to correct the problem or face additional penalties.

Air Monitoring and Health Impacts:

  1. The ARB/DPH air analysis was qualitative in nature and did not attempt to quantify individual chemicals; however,
  2. The residues were of a large non-inhalable particle size and only trace level toxics were detected.
  3. An air district worst case scenario source test of municipal wood waste combustion conducted at the plant in 2003 determined health risk was less than the air district’s 10/million acceptable risk level.
  4. Airborne levels of PM2.5 and PM10 are routinely measured to be below state and federal health standards.

Health Impact Complaints:

On February 22, the Air District received the first health related complaint from a resident reporting respiratory problems and concerns that the emissions from the facility were responsible.

Although the Air District is not in a position to establish a causal link between the health impact and SPI’s emissions, the Air District takes this complaint very seriously and has issued a notice of violation which requires immediate action by SPI to correct the ash problem or future penalties will occur.

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