EPA air permit issued for planned El Paso Electric power station in far East El Paso

EL PASO, Texas - El Paso Electric announced Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the greenhouse gas (GHG) permit for El Paso Electric's (EPE) Montana Power Station in Far East El Paso.

The permit will become effective 30 days from the date of issuance unless it is appealed.

In Jan. 2014, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a separate permit for emissions other than GHG.

The EPA permit issuance allows EPE to stay on track to bring the first two units of the power station online by summer of 2015, according to EPE officials.

In a statement issued yesterday in response to comments on the GHG permit, EPA  "take[s] notice that El Paso Electric Company at its own initiative also undertook special efforts to reach resolution with community members, including reaching an agreement  for ongoing community engagement through a citizen advisory panel.  … Although every situation is different, EPA has generally recognized that community engagement efforts on the part of a permit applicant are commendable. These efforts appear to have proved beneficial in this case."

EPA's decision may be appealed by Sierra Club's San Francisco office as part of its national "Beyond Gas" campaign.

EPE expects a possible appeal would be resolved by late summer 2014 and EPE would then spend the next nine months constructing the first two units and have them completed by the end of May 2015.

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