Public meeting scheduled for proposed permit for new U of M steam plant

Contact: Ralph Pribble, 651-757-2657

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has scheduled a public information meeting on a draft air permit for a new steam plant the University of Minnesota proposes to build at 1180 Main Street SE in Minneapolis. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Cedars Pavilion, located at 630 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minn.

This permit will authorize construction of the proposed Main Plant Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system. Exhaust gases from CHP system will be used to produce up to 270,000 pounds of steam per hour for the Minneapolis campus steam distribution system.

The system will use natural gas as the primary fuel. Ultra-low-sulfur distillate oil will be used as a fuel when the availability of gas is limited. A 500 kW diesel emergency generator will also be installed.

As a result of this proposal, two coal-fired boilers at the South East Plant will be retired.

The draft permit was placed on public notice from Oct. 31 to Dec. 1, 2014. Public comments were received during that time and the MPCA has made the preliminary determination to issue the air emission permit. The final decision whether to issue the permit and, if so, under what terms, will be made by the MPCA Citizens’ Board at its Jan. 27, 2015 meeting.

Interested parties may provide oral comments to the Citizens’ Board at the Jan. 27 meeting. The board meeting will be at the MPCA offices located at 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, Minn. Interested parties may also provide written comments at least 10 days before the meeting (through Jan. 17, 2015).

The MPCA website contains a copy of the draft/proposed permit. The agency’s website also contains a copy of the proposed project’s PDF iconEnvironmental Assessment Worksheet.

Questions about the public meeting can be directed to Bruce Braaten at 507-206-2607.