The summer technical journal is now available and features the following articles: The Role of CFD in Process Development, Design and Optimization Written by Scott Miller and Claire Schmit, AECOM Process Technologies The Real-Time Measurement of Sulfur Bearing Vaporous Compounds and Its Application for Use for Process and Environmental Control Written by Daniel T. Menniti, Breen Energy Solutions Maintaining and Operating an Electrostatic Precipitator in a world of cycling coal assets Written by Jesse D. Price, Southern Environmental Inc. EPA Re-Thinks OTM-37 for Condensable Particulate Written by Scott Evans, Clean Air Engineering Evaluation of SCR Operation for a Gas Conversion Project Written by Rod Beittel, Babcock Power The mission of the WPCA is to enhance technical communication through seminars, technical journals and a website. The WPCA is a non-profit organization and our members and advisors need to be motivated by a desire to see the pollution control community make world wide technical progress through improved technical communication. For more information visit www.WPCA.info
Pennsylvania announces actions to combat climate change News in late April sent a clear message that Pennsylvania is serious about climate change. Governor Tom Wolf announced plans to become the 24th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance. The Alliance supports clean energy development and the Paris Agreement goal of reducing 2005 level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26-28 percent by 2025. The Governor’s announcement also included the release of the 2018 Climate Action Plan. Some history The Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of 2008 requires the Department of Environmental Protection to develop annual GHG inventories, maintain a Climate Change Advisory Committee, have a voluntary GHG emissions registry, and provide an updated Climate Change Action Plan every three years. The Governor previously issued Executive Order 2019-01 (covered in an earlier blog). This order set ambitious goals to achieve a 26 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050, from 2005 levels. Highlights of the Plan The plan identifies over 100 actions within 19 strategies to reduce GHG emissions. Energy conservation and efficiency, sustainable transportation, and clean electricity generation are the low hanging fruit. The following chart shows the modeling results of 15 related actions considered the most impactful. If these actions are started now, the plan predicts that they will result in a 21 percent decrease in 2025 and a 36 percent decrease in 2050. As this falls short of the goals specified in the Executive Order, additional actions will be necessary. The Plan recognizes the importance of maintaining current nuclear generation levels. Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants account for 93% of Pennsylvania’s carbon-free electric generation -- far above wind, solar and hydro. But policy is needed to value these zero-emission sources of baseload electricity. Two of these plants, Three Mile Island and Beaver Valley, are not currently competitive in the wholesale market. Without subsidies, these plants are expected to close in 2019 and 2021. As one would expect, this is generating heated debate within the Legislature. Potential costs to electric ratepayers to support Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants could be $500 million a year (See analysis by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy ). The Path Forward We have a long way to go to meet the 2050 goals. The current Plan gives a good description of the scale of this challenge. The Plan itself provides only a starting point to reach the 2025 goals. It recognizes that additional actions are needed by not just government, but by individuals, businesses, and communities. The choice of actions will involve compromises between effectiveness, economic feasibility, and impacts to our standard of living. Future three-year updates of the plan will undoubtedly include technology advancements and new Federal regulations that shape the course of action. It will be interesting to see how much things change by the time the 2021 Action Plan is released.
In a historic 14-5 vote on April 16, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) advanced a citizen petition to create a cap-and-trade program. The aim of the petition is to bring the state to carbon neutrality by 2052. The petition was originally filed by the Clean Air Council (no affiliation with Clean Air Engineering) and modeled after California's market-based approach. This doesn’t mean the State will implement the proposed cap-and-trade program. The vote only authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to further study the cap-and-trade petition. The DEP will issue a report on the impacts and benefits of the proposed program. It will as also make a recommendation to the EQB to adopt, reject or modify the proposed regulation. Highlights of the Proposed Regulation Some notable highlights from the proposed regulation include: - Initial emissions cap established in 2020 for covered sources based on 91% of the 2016 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The cap will decline 3% each year until carbon neutrality is reached in 2052. - Emissions allowances equal one metric ton of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) as calculated under the EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRPP). The available yearly allowances will be auctioned or distributed by the DEP. - Sources required to report their emissions under the GHGRPP will be required to annually surrender allowances equal to their total annual GHG emissions in CO2e. - Fuel Distributors of petroleum, natural gas, propane and natural gas liquids, and coal fuel products will annually surrender allowances equal to the CO2e of GHG emissions released into the air from fuel combustion. - The allowances will be sold by auction with a reserve price of $10 in 2020. The price will increase by 10% yearly for inflation. Proceeds from the auctions will go to the state’s general fund which petitioners estimate could be as much as $1.6 billion per year. - Allowances may be banked for future use, can be traded freely, and bought by any person. Even if this petition is not adopted the future is clear regarding GHG regulations in the state with Governor Tom Wolf's executive order signed on January 8, 2019 calling climate change one of the biggest issues we face. The governor set a goal for a 26 percent reduction of GHG emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050, from 2005 levels. As you would expect, there is opposition to the petition. There are political concerns about bypassing the state legislature and implementing climate policy through the executive branch. Others assert that the petition essentially imposes an unconstitutional tax by generating revenue from a cap-and-trade program not approved by the legislature. What's Next The DEP will provide an update on how they plan to evaluate the petition at the next EOB meeting on June 18. Stay tuned.
The Fall 2018 WPCA Technical Journal is now available. The link below features the following articles: Wet Flue Gas Desulfurization System Enhancements to Operate at Low Load By Terence Ake and Suzette Puski, Babcock Power Environmental, Inc. It’s Time to Re-Think Flare Velocity Limits By Scott Evans, Clean Air Engineering SCR Catalyst Management Implications Resulting From Load Cycling and Reserve Shutdowns By Jared Koliha, P.E. and John R. Cochran, P.E., IBIDEN CERAM Environmental, Inc. Evaluating Technologies for Unique Trace Metals Contamination Related to Coal Pile Runoff By Max Swoboda, Evoqua An Historic Outline of Electrical Control Systems Used in The Process of Electrostatic Precipitation By Paul Ford and Hank Del Gatto, REDKOH INDUSTRIES Enhanced Low Load SCR Operation By Christopher Bertole, Cormetech Choosing the Right SOLUTION By John Rennocki and Mike Allen, Parker Hannifin Corp Link to WPCA Fall 2018 Technical Journal For more information on the WPCA please visit their website at www.WPCA.info