Trinity Consultants, an international environmental consulting firm that specializes in industrial air quality issues, recently assisted American Electric Power with air quality permitting for its new John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant in Hempstead County, Arkansas. The Turk Plant, which began operations in December 2012, is the first in the United States to implement ultra-supercritical (USC) boiler technology and, as a result, received the 2013 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute and was named POWER magazine’s 2013 Plant of the Year Award. Trinity assisted AEP in evaluating potential air emissions as part of obtaining a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environment Quality (ADEQ).
Due to environmental concerns regarding the use of coal in electricity generation, AEP invested in technologies that use less coal and produce fewer emissions, including carbon dioxide, than traditional pulverized coal plants. Those technologies, in addition to the use of low-sulfur coal, enable the facility to meet stringent emissions standards. Due to its extensive experience with the PSD program as it applies to the electric power industry, and its familiarity with Arkansas and EPA regulatory requirements, Trinity Consultants was able to assist AEP in navigating the air permitting process in order to receive the needed approval to construct and operate.
AEP began air permitting work on the Turk Plant in 2006. Obtaining an air quality permit for a major industrial facility like the Turk Plant requires addressing numerous complex technical issues. Trinity Consultants provided expertise regarding the dispersion and deposition of air emissions before the Arkansas Public Service Commission, and the Arkansas Pollution Control & Ecology Commission. After a four year process, AEP’s Southwest Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), owner and operator of the plant, was awarded the necessary approvals.
Commenting on the project was Jeremy Jewell, Principal Consultant in Trinity’s Oklahoma City office and project manager for the Turk Plant’s air permit, “After years of planning and litigation, it was a great feeling when ADEQ awarded the air permit to SWEPCO and when the plant became operational. Trinity was pleased to play a part in bringing this highly efficient and well-controlled generation capacity to SWEPCO’s customers, and honored to work with the excellent team at AEP.”