Drax US plant’s high emissions could continue for another year

According to The Times, Drax has failed its emissions test at a US pellets plant in Louisiana.

The power station owner has admitted to breaching environmental rules in the US after one of its wood pellet plants significantly exceeded air pollution limits.

The Times reports that Drax has admitted that its Morehouse Bioenergy plant in Louisiana produces particulate emissions about four times higher than permitted.

In May 2018 The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), along with the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, filed written comments to the state challenging a proposed renewal of Drax’s air pollution control permit.

After filing the comments, state regulators placed Drax’s Morehouse plant on a mandatory ‘compliance schedule’ which required it to install air pollution controls.

However, chief executive at Drax, Will Gardiner told The Times, “The emissions are higher than the permit would allow. We are working on how to solve that problem.” The company has applied to the regulator to continue emitting higher pollution levels for up to year, arguing that complying immediately will lead to ‘significant’ job loss.

In a February press release, director of Environmental Integrity Project’s wood biomass project, Keri Powell said, “Controls that are capable of reducing the Drax plant’s air pollution by more than 95 percent are readily available and should be installed immediately.”

Powell continued, “It’s time for Drax to clean up its act.”

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