The deadline for submitting written comments on the draft permit for the expansion of the Seneca Energy II landfill gas-to-energy plant on Route 414 has been extended from March 31 to April 17. The announcement of the extension was made by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 8 office in Avon on Wednesday. The extension came after Seneca Lake Guardian, an environmental advocacy group based in Watkins Glen, requested an extension of the deadline until May 31. However, DEC did not grant their request and instead extended the deadline by two weeks.
Seneca Energy II has submitted an application to the DEC for permission to renew and modify its air permit and its landfill gas-to-energy facilities, which would allow it to build and operate a second high-BTU facility to process up to 9,600 cubic feet of methane per minute for refinement and addition to the natural gas pipeline running along Route 414. As part of the proposed new project, eight of the 18 internal combustion engines will be converted from landfill gas fuel to natural gas fuel, and emissions of pollutants will be reduced. The remaining 10 engines will be shut down permanently and removed from the plant within a year of the new plant’s start-up.
Seneca Lake Guardian President Joseph Campbell wrote a letter to Kimberly Merchant of the Region 8 office, stating that the public did not receive notice of the comment period until late in the day on March 1 and that it only lasted for 30 days. He argued that the proposed project was complex and would be difficult for the average person to digest without a reasonable extension of the comment period.
Merchant responded that all Title V modifications and renewals have a 30-day comment period, but the DEC agreed to extend the permit application review period by two weeks. She said that the comment period would run until April 17.
Comments on the project and application can be mailed to Merchant at 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414, or emailed to [email protected]. Seneca Energy buys landfill gas from the Seneca Meadows landfill, and about 50% of the gas is methane. The gas is piped under the state road to the energy facility on the east side.
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