Comment period opens on permits

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is taking comment on plans to reissue the Austin Utilities’ northeast plant’s state and federal permits.

The twin permits were last issued Dec. 18, 2003 and are due to expire Sept. 30.

The coal-fired steam electrical generation plant operated by Austin Utilities is located at 3511 11th Street Northeast.

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The power plant operates year-round at an average generation capacity of 22 megawatts and a maximum of 30 megawatts.

The waste streams authorized for discharges consist of boiler and cooling tower slowdowns, demineralizer regenerant wastes, roof and floor drains and vehicle shop floor drains, groundwater from basement sumps and storm water associated with an industrial activity excepting coal pile runoff.

Wastewater from the facility will be regulated by two outfall points, which will eventually merge as a combined discharge into the Cedar River at an average rate of 45,000 gallons per day.

The MPCA has made a preliminary decision to reissue the twin permits for a period of five years. Written comment will be taken through Sept. 22. For more information, contact the MPCA’s Deborah Schumann, staff permit writer, at (651) 297-5791.