GVEA pushes for Healy Coal Plant permit


Golden Valley Electric Association is looking to the Environmental Protection Agency for a permit to operate the Healy coal fired plant.

Golden valley is asking the E. P. A. to clear roadblocks that are keeping the co–op from restarting the 50 megawatt plant.

Gene Therriault of Golden Valley said "We're going to try to go at this a different way. In working with the EPA coming up with an agreement on additional things that Golden Valley can do to hopefully protect the permit,  the ultimate permit from a challenge."

Earlier this year, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air permit for the plants, and the E. P. A. did not object.

However, in March, four environmental groups filed an objection with the EPA.

Golden Valley negotiated with the groups to try and resolve differences about the use of coal but the effort failed.

"But when you have groups coming like the Sierra Club and you look on their web page they're all about the end of coal and so when we're trying to get a coal plant permitted, or the permit renewed for the operation of a coal plant, it wasn't a very good mix and ultimately resulted in something that our board of directors could not agree to."

Golden valley is pursuing a consent decree that requires installation of stricter air pollution regulation on the Healy Clean Coal Project than the environmental groups had sought.

If the co-ops plan works, they could get the plant up and running within 18 months