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Bioenergy in Pennsylvania: Online database, map, and report

Bioenergy in Pennsylvania: Online database, map, and report

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Bioenergy in Pennsylvania: Online database, map, and report

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  1. Bioenergy in Pennsylvania: Online database, map, and report Mary S. Booth Partnership for Policy Integrity October 16, 2014

  2. Background • Partnership for Policy Integrity: bioenergy and forests focus • Climate change, air quality, fuels impacts Reports (all at www.pfpi.net): • “Trees, Trash, and Toxics: How Bioenergy Has Become the New Coal” • “Climate of Deception”: Report to Federal Trade Commission on deceptive advertising/greenwashing by bioenergy industry • Report to Securities and Exchange Commission on Climate and Investment Risks of Bioenergy • Report to DOE on Taylor Biomass (NY) loan guarantee application • 2012 report, “Bioenergy in Pennsylvania”

  3. Why the concern with biomass boilers?Example of school boiler at East Lycoming SD, permitted at 0.22 lb/MMBtu

  4. Goals of this presentation • Describe Pennsylvania bioenergy database, report (formal release date is Tues Oct. 21) • Facilitate its use • Get input on how to improve this project, and the next project (map, database of most polluting facilities in Pennsylvania; emphasis on permit accountability)

  5. What we did • Pennsylvania Bulletin (www.pabulletin.com): Data for wood/biomass-fired boilers on boiler capacity, pollution emissions, emission controls, permit number, and permit renewal date • Permits are renewed every five years – goal is to increase review during renewal • Map and database at http://www.pfpi.net/biopower-in-pennsylvania • Leave username blank; password is …

  6. The context for promotion of bioenergy as “clean”: Attainment status with EPA standards for PM2.5 Grey: whole county or partial county non-attainment with 24-hr PM2.5 std of 35 µg/m2 Black outline: whole county or partial county non-attainment with annual std of 12 µg/m2

  7. Ozone: Attainment status with EPA standards Grey: non-attainment with 2008 std of 0.075 ppm

  8. Prevalence of asthma in schoolchildren – percent increase 2008/09 to 2012/13 school years Statewide, asthma rates 6.82% in 2008/09 school year; by 2012/13, rate was 12.18%

  9. Summary stats for biomass burners: our database • In the Pennsylvania Bulletin: 101 bioenergy facilities with wood/biomass burning units (one gas-fired pellet mill) • More than 70% are industrial burners or rotary pellet dryers • 7 large power generating (or industrial/power) facilities • 17 are “institutional” boilers; 12 are at schools • Many more burners that don’t get permits? • State permitting thresholds:

  10. Most burners are relatively small (~10 – 30 MMBtu/hr) Combined capacity of biomass-burning units (at facilities for which Pennsylvania Bulletin reports capacity)

  11. Pollution controls • No NOx controls at smaller burners • PM controls minimal – cyclones, multicyclones; almost no ESP’s or baghouses

  12. Particulate matter: potential to emit at varying emissions rates EPA’s boiler rule threshold: 10+ MMBtu/hr – sets standards for new burners only. Pennsylvania boiler population: boilers <10 MMBtu/hr or permitted prior to boiler rule standard Potential to emit, per MMBtu of boiler capacity: • 0.22 lb/MMBtu x 1 MMBtu/hr x 8,760 hr/yr = 1,927.2 lb/yr(typical Pennsylvania permitting rate) • 0.07 lb/MMBtu: 613 lb/yr(EPA std for new boilers 10 – 30 MMBtu/hr) • 0.03 lb/MMBtu: 263 lb/yr(EPA std for new boilers 30+ MMBtu/hr)

  13. Modeling particle pollution costs • Impact of each additional ton of air pollution increased by background air pollution • EPA modeling: cost of ten tons of PM2.5 is $200,000+. • Air Pollution Emission Experiments and Policy Analysis Model (APEEP): weights impacts by background air pollution

  14. APEEP estimates: marginal cost of one ton PM2.5for all counties of the US Pennsylvania counties (red): some of the highest costs in the country

  15. Cost impacts of bioenergy pollution – an example Esbenshades Greenhouses, Lancaster County • County in non-attainment for ozone and PM2.5 • Asthma prevalence has doubled • Pennsylvania gave facility $474,502 • Facility uses multi-clone; actual emissions 38 tons PM/yr • APEEP estimate for ten tons pollution: $930,000

  16. Grants and loans accountability – examples (see report for full table)

  17. Summary stats for grants and loans • Pennsylvania allocated over $30 m for bioenergy; Evergreen Comm. Energy got $39 million as federal grant • 19 out of the total 38 companies that received support either no longer exist or have not yet received an operating permit for biomass boiler

  18. Ongoing work, question for all • How to increase public and groups participation in facility air permitting?