A number of environmental groups have joined forces to appeal a recent decision by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to permit the Dayton Power & Light Company (DP&L) to burn trees, grasses and other unspecified “biomass” at the company’s Killen Station, a coal-fired power plant in Adams County, Ohio. Environmentalists are troubled by the timing of the Ohio EPA’s decision, and believe that its issuance of the final permit violates Ohio law and the federal Clean Air Act, according to the Dayton Daily News and the Ohio Environmental Law Center.
Under the permit, DP&L is allowed to burn a mixture of coal with up to 7 percent content of grass and sawdust biomass material. Biomass can also include animal manure, nut and grain hulls, orchard clippings, cornstalks and coffee grounds. The permit was subject to a public hearing in Manchester, Ohio, on December 13, 2010, with written comments accepted through December 20, 2010. Ohio EPA granted the final permit nine days later in the waning days of the Strickland administration.
“There are some real concerns about whether the agency gave due consideration to some of the issues in this permit and to the public’s comments,” said Will Reisinger, staff attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council. “It appears that [Ohio] EPA rushed the Killen application through the permitting process in order to help DP&L avoid new federal pollution standards,” Reisinger added.