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EPA issues final clean water permit to proposed biomass facility, Boston

Proposed Biomass power plant, which will be located in Russell, Massachusetts, has been issued with a final Clean Water Act permit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EPA has determined that the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the proposed facility meets the requirements set by the Federal Clean Water Act.

The proposed facility, with its planned location being next to the Westfield River, will utilise its neighbouring natural facilities by withdrawing water from, and releasing water back into the river. The permit includes a number of protections. For example, it requires that the water quality be monitored so as to ensure the security of aquatic organisms. The use of closed cycle cooling towers, believed to be the best technology available for controlling adverse effects of cooling water withdrawal, is another regulation the permit will enforce. Further to this, monthly monitoring of aluminium levels are to be carried out, along with quarterly turbidity monitoring for the stormwater outfall locations as well as a location upstream. There is also a clause allowing no detectable difference between the intake and discharge mass of phosphorus.

The permit, which was first proposed in 2009 and can be modified if deemed necessary by EPA, will take effect on July 1, 2012.