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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Permit for Tenaska Brownsville Generating Plant, $500M facility will bring 600-700 construction jobs to Brownsville, TX, area

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant (R6Press@epa.gov)
Joe Hubbard

DALLAS - (Jan. 26, 2014) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit to Tenaska Brownsville Partners L.P., to construct a natural gas-fired electric generating plant. The Tenaska Brownsville Generating Plant will be located in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas.

"Tenaska's project takes advantage of our clean-burning natural gas resources," said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "The company has also demonstrated stewardship of Texas' invaluable historic landmarks with considerations for Palo Alto Battlefield park."

Tenaska will construct natural gas-fired turbines connected to electric generators. Exhaust from the turbines will be recovered to power a steam-turbine generator. The estimated capital cost of the project is about $500 million. Constructing the facility will create 600-700 temporary jobs, with 23 full-time jobs when the facility is operational.

EPA's issuance of this permit includes consideration for the nearby Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park. As part of the project, Tenaska has agreed to mitigation and minimization measures of more than $2.1 million over time for projects to preserve and enhance the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Landmark and its historic park.

In June 2010, EPA finalized national GHG regulations, which specify that beginning on Jan. 2, 2011, projects that substantially increase GHG emissions require an air permit.

Since Jan. 2, 2011, projects in Texas that increase GHG emissions required an air permit from the EPA. In Texas alone, EPA has received 93 GHG permit applications from businesses since 2011. Texas is No. 1 in the country for receiving EPA-issued GHG permits - with over 60 permits being issued by EPA.

On Oct. 31, 2014, EPA announced both its approval of the state air plan and the withdrawal of the federal air plan making Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) the primary GHG permitting authority in Texas. The approval became effective upon publication in the Federal Register on Nov. 10. This action eliminates the need for businesses to seek air permits from two separate regulatory agencies in Texas and moves the permitting program to TCEQ.

EPA and TCEQ will continue to work closely with pending permit applicants during the transition period and ensure no unnecessary project delays result from this action. At the request of businesses in Texas, EPA will complete work on two permit applications, with the remaining applications transferred to TCEQ.

For all of the latest information on GHG permits in Texas please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r6/Apermit.nsf/AirP

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