Officials with the Pin Oak Creek Energy power plant have changed the proposed plant’s state permit request again, lowering the amount of pollution that could be put into the air if the plant is built.

The amended permit was filed Friday in Austin. Pin Oak Creek Energy is an LS Power project.

“This plant rivals anything you’re going to find in the U.S.,” said Phil Klazynski, associate project manager for Pin Oak Creek Energy. “It’s one of the cleanest you’re ever going to find out there.”

The company told state regulators they would emit less carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulates, like ash. Compared with the June figures submitted, the proposed emissions of carbon monoxide is down about 580 tons a year, particulate matter was lowered by about 50 tons, and volatile organic compounds are down about 90 tons. The different types of generators would create different levels of pollution, and the company hasn’t decided which brand they intend to use yet.

Lowering the emissions can help a company’s permit chances, said Erik Hendrickson, team leader in the combustion and coating section of the air permits division of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“Less emissions are always desirable,” Hendrickson said. “It helps in two ways, number one, it helps with their Best Available Control Technology (BACT) proposal, and second, it helps with their air dispersal modeling.”

The state is currently analyzing the air modeling put in by LS Power, and is drafting a permit.

“Once we’ve drafted a permit, they’ll have an opportunity to comment on the permit,” he said. “And after we’ve gotten the modeling audited then we’ll authorize them to do what’s called a second public notice, and we’ll schedule a public meeting.”

The public meeting could take place in late October or early November, Hendrickson said.

The company filed earlier in the year for permission to build a $1 billion, 1,200 megawatt power plant in southern Navarro County. Although local environmental and property-rights activists have opposed the project, the county commissioners recently approved the first step in giving the company a tax abatement.

One of the opposition groups is Citizens Opposing Power Plants, which remains skeptical about the changes.

“Because we’ve not been granted any air quality testing in Navarro County to this point, we don’t know what our present air quality is, and we don’t know what these changes they’ve made will add to what we’re already living with,” said Vicky Prater, vice president of COPPs. “We’re still very serious about getting Navarro County’s air tested, and we’re still determined to take this thing forward.”

The group has asked an expert to examine the modeling.

“Nobody in COPPs is qualified to read this air modeling, and the changes being made,” Prater said. “We are wise enough to see they used some old data in there, and we’re turning it over to one of our legal experts to explain it to us.”

Pin Oak Creek still has a way to go before it starts construction. In addition to the air permit, the company also has to get a water emissions permit from the state, a tax abatement from the county, and a contract to buy water from Corsicana or the Tarrant Regional Water District. The company is preparing its state water permit application, Klazynski said.

A second company, Navarro Energy Center, a project of Babcock and Brown, completed the first part of its permit process in August.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com

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