El Paso Electric wins EPA air permit for power plant

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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, which will become effective 30 days from the date of issuance unless it is appealed.

EPA’s permit action follows the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s decision in January 2014 to issue a separate permit for emissions other than GHG. Issuance of the EPA permit at this time allows EPE to stay on track to bring the first two units of the power station online by summer of 2015, so that EPE can timely meet the growing needs of the communities it serves.

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.”

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to about 394,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. El Paso Electric has a net dependable generating capability of 1,852 MW.

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