DRESDEN — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has made a tentative determination to modify the Greenidge Power Generating Station’s State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit “to reflect the operation of the plant.’’
The plant, on the west shore of Seneca Lake, withdraws up to 139.2 million gallons of water daily from Seneca Lake for “once through” condenser cooling. It discharges an estimated 134 million gallons of water per day, as well as boiler blowdown, to the Keuka Lake Outlet. Storm water and other treated and industrial effluent are discharged to Seneca Lake and groundwater.
The proposed modifications proposed include :
• A new special condition for total iron discharged via one outfall to the lake.
• Removal of schedule of compliance conditions for total iron discharged via that outfall.
• Modification of the schedule of submittals to allow more time for sampling at a second outfall.
The company has told DEC that the bottom ash sluice system, connected to outfall 02G, was not activated or discharged in time to meet the schedule of submittals. The company said future discharge from this outfall was not expected in the near future. DEC has agreed that to ensure proper sampling is being performed when the outfall is discharging, a new special condition has been added requiring the company to notify DEC when it begins bottom ash sluice system operations.
Upon that notification, 10, 24-hour composite samples for total iron must be taken and reported to the DEC within two months of sampling completion. The report will also include proposed treatment methods for total iron from the outfall.
A special condition would take the place of the previous schedule of submittals, which has been removed from the draft permit.
Greenidge officials also said that due to low power demand and low rainfall during the sampling period, sampling for ammonia, total magnesium and sulfates from outfall 02C could not be performed since discharge only occurred once. The permit would be modified to allow six months from time of the permit modification to provide that sampling information to the DEC.
The chlorination system for outfall 002 was taken out of service in 2011 and there are no plans to restart that system.
Greenidge is not currently adding chlorine to outfall 002 so that requirement has been discontinued. The company is still required to meet the more stringent levels for total residual chlorine by Jan. 1, 2021.
The company has applied for modification of its Article 17, Titles 7 & 8, Industrial SPDES permit for surface discharge.
Greenidge was built in 1937 and generated electricity, using coal as fuel for its turbines. The plant closed in 2011 and was purchased by a new company with plans to convert its fuel source to natural gas and resume operation.
That conversion and reopening was approved by the DEC and the plant returned to electrical production in April 2017, generating 107 megawatts of power.
Before the permits can be modified, the public and interested parties are allowed time to submit written comments.
The current SPDES permit for the plant was issued Oct. 1, 2017 and expires Sept. 30, 2022.