Comprehensive Air Quality Support for a Major Western Utility Company

Air Quality and Meteorological Monitoring: Redhorse processed, validated, and reported 25 meteorological parameters and five criteria pollutants measurements at the generating station. Data is reported on a quarterly basis to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Redhorse also prepared a monitoring plan for meteorological and air quality monitoring equipment and is providing on-call support for maintenance, repair, and data recovery on an as needed basis during the year.

Air Quality Modeling for Truck Traffic: Work at the large coal fired generating station in Nevada included dispersion modeling analysis and preparing environmental evaluation for truck traffic changes at the generating station

Permitting, Emission Inventories and Modeling: Redhorse conducted air quality impact investigations and prepared subsequent Class I Title V permit applications preparation to renew and or modify the operations at approximately 3000 megawatts of natural gas, oil and coal fired steam and combined cycle generating facilities in Nevada.

Work at the a large natural gas fired generating station in Nevada, Redhorse reviewed emission factors for fine particle (PM10 and PM2.5) emissions from cooling towers, and prepared an evaluation of options to lower the emission rates resulting from higher total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations in the circulating water system and the manufacturer’s design drift rate; screening-level modeling (three model runs using AERMOD); one facility-wide model run for criteria pollutants (excluding lead) for evaluation of potential impacts to the ambient air quality standards and prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) increment for PM10; revision of the facility air emission inventory; review of New Source Review (NSR) applicability based on design data and dispersion modeling; and document findings and preparation of an application for a Minor Modification to the Class I Operating Permit for submittal to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection-Bureau of Air Pollution Control (NDEP-BAPC).

Work at a coal fired generating station included review and incorporation of revisions for the crusher modification; review of the emission inventory for criteria and hazardous pollutants with client for consistency with other permit applications; preparation of a modeling protocol for use of current version of AERMOD using meteorological data from the latest application to BAPC; preparing receptor grids and performing a PSD Class II increment and an air quality analysis; processing current meteorological data and upper air data from the National Weather Service; obtaining the current emission inventory for neighboring sources within the area from NDEP; completing a screening-level modeling analysis to calculate the potential ambient air quality concentrations output when a new meteorological dataset was used and applying the revised modeling algorithms in EPA’s AERMOD dispersion model; comparing model results with ambient air quality standards and PSD increments for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, PM10, and PM2.5; and preparing an Environmental Evaluation as required under Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445B.310 and 311; and preparing the necessary application materials and documentation.

Redhorse conducted regulatory analysis and training for New Source Performance Standards and implications of new ambient air quality standards on the Operations Center, and major power generating stations and emergency generators.

Biological Resource Inventories and Environmental Impact Assessment: Redhorse managed and participated in biological resource inventories for the 172-mile 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in central Nevada, which included assessing 345 miles of alternate routes, documentation, and document preparation for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Serving as a technical advisor and resource specialist to EDAW, Redhorse coordinated all aspects of the baseline surveys, including wildlife, vegetation, and noxious weeds on private and BLM managed public lands. Redhorse conducted the habitat analysis, wildlife protection plans, and authored sections of the EIS.

Special considerations were made for potential impacts to greater-sage grouse, as towers located in potentially suitable grouse habitat were designed to prevent perching by raptors and corvids. Concurrent with the EIS, Redhorse performed sensitive wildlife surveys for the construction operation and maintenance plan (COM plan) along 172 miles of proposed corridor. Sensitive wildlife encountered were mapped during the surveys, which were input into a geographic information system (GIS) digital database for use in developing of the wildlife protection plan and COM plan construction maps. This plan defined project restrictions in accordance with the Final EIS so that sensitive wildlife and their habitat are not affected during construction of the project. For this same project, Redhorse staff developed and presented the pre-construction environmental training.