Thursday, 13WHAM News reported the plant needs significant upgrades. Local officials are worried about Kodak's ability to fund the improvements. The power plant is vital to operations at the park.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday responded to several questions submitted Wednesday from 13WHAM News about the required upgrades to Kodak's power plant at Eastman Business Park.
Here are our questions and the DEC answers.
Q. What does Kodak have to do to get in compliance?
A. There are three regulatory actions Kodak must take to be in compliance. Kodak’s boilers currently impair visibility in downwind Class I areas (national parks, forests and wilderness areas). They would need to put on Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART), as required by federal law, to control emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), which can often impact visibility for hundreds of miles.
Kodak’s power and steam boilers must also comply with Reasonably Available Control Technology for Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx RACT), which is required in New York for major sources of NOx. Kodak emits 100 tons per year. They complied with earlier provisions of this requirement, but have to now comply by July 1, 2014 with the latest revisions which were updated in 2010 by DEC.
Lastly, Kodak’s coal and oil-fired boilers and process heaters have to comply with National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters (aka Boiler MACT – Maximum Achievable Control Technology) to address concerns of heavy metals and acid gases.
Q. Does the state have any idea how much this will cost?
A. If Kodak goes forward with all of the options that it has been considering to date, it has advised us that it could cost as much as $20 million to comply with BART & NOx RACT and another $20 million in upgrades to meet MACT regulations.
Q. Is the state willing to grant Kodak any exceptions or postpone the deadline?
A. DEC is reviewing the BART and RACT plans sent in by Kodak and is open to options that address all of these regulations in an environmentally-efficient and cost-effective manner. While DEC must follow all the established protocols in implementing these regulations, we have been discussing the plans with Kodak on an ongoing basis, are very aware of the current challenges facing the company and are certainly willing to explore all options available under the rules. Every decision DEC makes relative to these regulations is subject to review and approval by EPA.
Rachel Barnhart, Anchor/Reporter