Hearing Scheduled for West Campus Steam Plant Conversion
Penn State's controversial West Campus Steam plant will be the focus of a public hearing next week.
The plant is being converted from coal to natural gas to comply with federal regulations.
The state Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday, it will hold a public hearing to discuss a proposed air quality plan for the plant. The meeting will happen at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the State College Area High School Auditorium.
"Staff from DEP's Air Quality Program will explain the application review process and applicable regulations, and Penn State officials will review the project with the audience," DEP North-central Regional Director Marcus Kohl says in a press release.
The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. Anyone who wants to speak will have five minutes, but the DEP will allow written testimony of any length. You can register that evening prior to the event.
Comments sent by mail must be submitted by Tuesday, Nov. 12, and sent to DEP Air Quality Program Manager, 208 W. 3rd St., Suite 101, Williamsport, PA 17701.
Last October, Penn State asked the DEP to approve its air quality plan. The current proposal includes building two natural gas boilers and modifying two existing coal boilers to use natural gas.
Penn State also plans to install two 25,000 gallon above-ground oil tanks to store backup fuel oil.
The proposal is part of Penn State's efforts to comply with the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The conversion of the steam plant caused an uproar in the State College community in the past year. Residents were especially concerned about a plan to run a 12-inch high-pressure gas pipeline run under streets in the State College Borough. As a result, Penn State decided to move the pipeline so that it runs through campus.