U.S. EPA: Consent Decree with GPA will improve Guam’s air quality

GPA's Cabras power plant. (PNC file photo)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with the Guam Power Authority (GPA) and the Marianas Energy Company, L.L.C. (MEC) for violations of the Clean Air Act. These organizations operated residual oil-fired Electric Generating Units (EGUs) without emissions controls at the Piti and Cabras Power Plants. MEC is the former owner and current operator of the Piti Power Plant and is responsible for the violations at that facility. GPA, the current owner of both the Piti and Cabras Power Plants, is also responsible for the violations at both facilities.

“Power-generating facilities must comply with Clean Air Act rules to reduce harmful emissions,” said EPA Acting Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. “Our actions will ensure healthier air for the residents of Guam.”

Older EGUs operating on residual fuel oil without emission control technology release hazardous air pollutants. The settlement will reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants by approximately 39 tons per year. Additionally, the fuel switch required by the settlement will have an added benefit of lowering emissions of sulfur dioxide by approximately 12,500 tons per year in the Cabras – Piti area. This represents a 99% reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions.

Today’s settlement requires the organizations to: retrofit two Piti Engine Units by switching completely to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and installing emissions controls; retire and replace the Cabras Steam Units which have operated beyond their useful life; construct 100 megawatts of solar power generation; and construct a 40 megawatt energy storage system. In addition, GPA will pay a civil penalty of $400,000.

Two different standards are involved in this case under the Clean Air Act to control emissions for electricity-generating units. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/stationary-engines and https://www.epa.gov/mats.