Olympic Region Clean Air Agency in Washington to consider moving an existing air-quality monitoring station or adding a second one downwind of Nippon Paper's 20-MW biomass cogen plant in Port Angeles

LOS ANGELES , July 5, 2012 () –

A regional pollution control and enforcement agency will consider options for monitoring pollution from Nippon Paper Industry Inc.’s expanded 20-megawatt (MW) biomass cogeneration plant in Port Angeles, Washington, at its next meeting, reported the Peninsula Daily News on July 5.

Fran McNair, executive director of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), said she will make recommendations on air-monitor requests by the Port Angeles City Council at the ORCAA board's meeting in August.

On July 3, the council voted 3-2 to request that ORCAA either move the existing air-quality monitoring station at Steven Middle School or add a second one in the city downwind of the Nippon Paper plant, the Peninsula Daily News reported.

ORCAA has already approved the installation of an air-quality monitoring station in Port Townsend, where Port Townsend Paper Corp. is undertaking a US$55-million, 24-MW biomass cogeneration expansion project; but the agency still must determine how to fund it.

Funding will be an issue if ORCAA decides to move or add a new air-quality monitoring station for the Nippon plant as the agency does not have any more monitors or money, McNair said in an interview, reported the Peninsula Daily News.

While ORCAA has a reserve account of $65,000 for new and existing air-quality monitors,McNair said that had been set up for replacement monitors and does not cover the $10,000/year it would cost to staff an additional station. She added that it was "overkill" to have two monitors in any city, the Peninsula Daily News reported.

Nippon Paper’s $71-million biomass expansion is currently under way and scheduled to be completed in April 2013. The Nippon Paper and Port Townsend cogeneration projects were both unsuccessfully challenged in court by environmental groups, the Peninsula Daily News.

The primary source of this article is the Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, Washington, on July 5, 2012.


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