A PTI must be obtained by the OEPA before an air pollution source is constructed in Ohio and is an entirely separate application than AMP's application for environmental compatibility and public need with the Ohio Power Siting Board.
Heather Lauer, spokesperson for the OEPA, said the agency has not sent the application on to its director due in part to questions raised during the comment period which were of a modeling nature and still have no definite answers. Lauer did not elaborate on the questions causing the delay, only saying some of the questions had to do with phrasing while others were modeling/technical questions.
Once these formal comments are addressed, many of which took place at a public hearing back in October at Southern Elementary School, the OEPA will make the answers public. Lauer said some of the comments and questions that were raised at that hearing did not fall under the OEPA's scope of inquiry. Once the report is complete, it then goes to the director of the OEPA for a decision to deny, approve or approve with modifications.
Lauer added the PTI came up as late as Friday during a staff meeting at the Columbus offices of the OEPA, and there was no way of predicting when a decision on the application would be made.
At the October meeting, members of the OEPA stated AMP-Ohio's permit is “not a done deal” and the agency is neither for or against the plant.
AMP filed its permit-to-install with the state back in May 2006 for its coal-fired power plant proposed for Letart Falls. The company also estimated the permitting process would take two years, ending sometime this year. If applications and permits are approved, construction is then estimated to take another four to five years, with the plant possibly going online in 2012.