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Fairbanks: GVEA predicts no problems meeting EPA rules

by Jeff Richardson
Jan 09, 2012

FAIRBANKS — New federal regulations on large coal-fired power plants shouldn’t significantly affect operations at Golden Valley Electric Association, according to officials at the Fairbanks-based utility.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new emissions rules for many of the nation’s power plants late last month. The rules will require utilities to put stronger limits on the release of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxins. The move will regulate the last remaining uncontrolled source of toxic air pollution in the United States, according to the agency.

About half of the 1,300 coal- and oil-fired units in the U.S. currently lack modern pollution controls, but Alaska shouldn’t see much of an impact, said GVEA environmental officer Kris DuBois.

It seems likely the Interior utility’s 25-megawatt Healy No. 1 unit is the only plant in the state that will be subject to the new EPA rules, which were announced Dec. 21. Although some small adjustments at the plant probably will be required, DuBois said, she said its emissions already...