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E-M:/ RE: / Rouge Power Plant Violations



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Enviro-Mich message from "Savoie, Kathryn" <KSavoie@accesscommunity.org>
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I was one of those who sat in those meetings with CMS and DEQ, in which we
were assured that the permitted emissions were "worst case scenarios" that
would never be realized, that they were fully protective of public health,
etc.  So, I'm was very upset to learn about these violations --especially at
10X the permitted level! 

In response to Jeff's questions: 

My question is has the DEQ contacted anyone in the local community to
inquire as to their view of fairness of this settlement?
Nobody from MDEQ has contacted ACCESS (or anyone else in the community that
we are aware of) regarding fairness of the settlement.  ACCESS was contacted
by representatives of CMS Energy and met with them in January, 2003. At that
point we became aware that they had a problem with sulfur dioxide emissions,
but they did not reveal to what extent. The fact that they had ceased
operations and had resumed flaring the blast furnace gas, along with the
fact that CMS Energy took the initiative to contact us led us to believe
that it was a major problem, but they would not give us any numbers.  We
followed up with a letter, and never heard any more from them. 

What is the community getting out of this settlement? Nothing that I can see
except more sulfur dioxide emissions. Given the promises made at the outset
to the community, I think the community deserves more. 

I see there will be a public hearing but was anyone from the community which
was actively involved in the original permit asked to give input up front on
the settlement of these violations? Again, nobody has contacted ACCESS,
Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, or any other community organization
that we are aware of, regarding this settlement. 

What about some sulfur controls as part of the settlement? Great idea, why
didn't the DEQ didn't think of that? I know nothing about the technology
involved, but would like to see them redo the BACT analysis. Simply
increasing the permitted levels and raising the height of the stacks is not
acceptable in my opinion, and I believe will not be acceptable to others in
the community. 


Kathryn Savoie, Ph.D.
Environmental Program Director
ACCESS

NEW ADDRESS & PHONE:
6450 Maple Street
Dearborn MI  48126
(313) 216-2225
ksavoie@accesscommunity.org <mailto:ksavoie@accesscommunity.org> 

	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Jeff Gearhart [SMTP:jeffg@ecocenter.org]
	Sent:	Wednesday, July 23, 2003 3:38 PM
	To:	enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
	Subject:	E-M:/ Rouge Power Plant Violations

	Dearborn Industrial Generating(DIG), aka the power natural gas power
plant that replaced the Rouge Powerhouse after it blew up, has just been
cited for violating their SO2 permit limits.  The proposed remedy is impose
a fine of $24,000, redo the permit(increase the limits so there isn't a
violation) and make the stacks higher(from 150 to 185 feet).   This is also
the power plant which powers the Ford facilities which are part of the
"green" Rouge renovation.

	From the DEQ fact sheet:   "Dispersion modeling indicates that the
previously permitted stack heights do not provide adequate dispersion at the
SO2 emission rates to show compliance with National Ambient Air Quality
Standards (NAAQS) and PSD requirements."  Apparently soon after the plant
started operating in 2000/2001 residents of the South End of Dearborn and
Southwest Detroit were subject to ongoing levels of emissions in violation
of NAAQS.

	This was not a small violation.  Previous permit limit was 206.3
tons per year SO2  and they are now requesting a limit of up to 2995.9 tons
per year!  That's 10 times higher then they were originally permitted.  The
excuse...they "guessed" wrong about how much sulfur was in the blast furnace
gas from Rouge Steel.  The Ecology Center and other community groups
questioned the DEQ's reliance on almost no information regarding the
chemical composition of blast furnace back in 1999 but were assured the
numbers were accurate.

	Many of us sat through numerous a meeting with CMS and DEQ where we
were assured that these emission numbers were worst case, protective of
public health and that this was really going to improve air quality.

	My question is has the DEQ contacted anyone in the local community
to inquire as to their view of fairness of this settlement?

	What is the community getting out of this settlement?

	I see there will be a public hearing but was anyone from the
community which was actively involved in the original permit asked to give
input up front on the settlement of these violations?

	What about some sulfur controls as part of the settlement?

	This must be yet another example of the new and improved DEQ public
participation process?  Seems like more of the same lack of care that we
suffered through under Engler.

	Public Hearing, 7 pm,  August 6  Henry Ford Library

	Jeff

	-- 
	_________________
	Jeff Gearhart
	Ecology Center
	117 N. Division
	Ann Arbor, MI  48104
	(734)663-2400 x117
	(734)663-2414 fx.
	
	http://www.ecocenter.org
	http://www.cleancarcampaign.org


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