Indeck submits air quality permit application to EGLE
Published 12:50 pm Friday, August 4, 2023
NILES — The last year has seen Indeck Energy Services open its new power plant in the Niles Industrial Park and resolve months of noise complaints from people living around the plant.
Now, the company has requested a change in its air emissions permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
EGLE officials notified the public late last week that Indeck has asked for the change and that EGLE has opened a public comment period on that request. The public comment period runs to Sept. 11 and people can find out more about the project and the permit change at the EGLE website.
People may request that a public hearing be held and must make that request via mail or email by Aug. 30. If one is requested, it will be held virtually on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. with an informational session followed by public comments and question. EGLE officials will then issue a decision after reviewing all information and comments.
The email address is EGLE-AQDPTIPublicComments@Michigan.gov. The mailing address is Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Air Quality Division, Permit Section, P.O. Box 30260, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7760.
As noted in the EGLE letter to residents and interested parties, Indeck has submitted an air quality permit application for proposed changes that reflect the equipment actually installed. The changes proposed would actually lower the current permitted emissions limits.
A project summary provided by EGLE indicates that the facility will be capable of operating under the new emission limits based on the lower actual heat input capacities of one auxiliary boiler, two dew point heats and one diesel-fired emergency engine.
The summary reported that Indeck has been considered a major source of emissions in the Niles area and must meet the standards for specific air pollutants set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Pollutants monitored by the EPA include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
The plant currently meets the standards set by the government and an EGLE analysis has concluded that the permit changes requested by Indeck will produce emissions that are below the national standards for pollutants.
EGLE officials noted that they can consider such things as technical mistakes made in the review, grammar and spelling mistakes and other rules that should be considered in making their decision. They cannot consider air, land or water issues not part of the project, traffic, noise and lights, zoning issues, indoor air pollution and other unrelated issues.
Niles City Administrator Ric Huff said he had been anticipating Indeck to make this request for a change in their air emissions permit since the time the plant became operational last year. He said the installed equipment is more efficient than what was originally proposed.
Huff said that he’s received just two noise complaints since Indeck made repairs this spring. He said in one case, it couldn’t be determined that the noise came from Indeck. The second complaint came during a time when the regional power grid demanded all power generation facilities generate at maximum capacity during the heat wave.