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EPA Issues Air Permit for Wanapa Energy Center (WEC)

Release Date: 8/8/2005
Contact Information: Dan Meyer
(206) 553-4150

August 8, 2005

After a thorough review, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permit to Diamond Wanapa for the construction and operation of the Wanapa Energy Center (WEC) located on tribal land near Hermiston, Oregon. WEC will be a new 1,200 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle combustion turbine electric generating facility.

“The project has fully satisfied all applicable federal requirements necessary for EPA approval," said Rick Albright, EPA Region 10 Air Quality Manager. "EPA Conducted a rigorous review of the project, and EPA is confident that WEC will be a clean plant that does not adversely impact air quality."

WEC will utilize post-combustion controls to limit nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compound, and carbon monoxide emissions.

The permit guarantees that WEC will employ the best available control technology to limit its air pollutant emissions. The permit also provides assurance that WEC will not cause or contribute to a violation of ambient air quality standards.

EPA invited public input during the permitting process. The public comment period extended from November 23, 2004 to January 19, 2005 with a hearing on January 5, 2005 in Hermiston. Based upon the feedback received from the community, EPA is requiring WEC to conduct fine particulate matter ambient monitoring shortly after start-up of the facility. Fine particulate matter monitoring has not previously been conducted in the area.

Construction of the facility may begin September 12, 2005 unless the permit is appealed to the Environmental Appeals Board in Washington, D.C.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation have previously provided their approvals for this project.

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