For Immediate Release - October 03, 2013

Public Comment Extended Three Weeks on Draft Air Quality Permits for Proposed Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant in Salem

WILMINGTON - In response to requests for additional time, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has extended the public comment period on the draft air quality permits for the proposed power plant at 24 Fort Avenue in Salem. The public comment period on these draft permits has been extended three weeks from October 11 until Friday, November 1 at 5 p.m.

The draft permits can be reviewed here: Footprint Power Salem

The proponent, Footprint Power Salem Harbor Development LP, is seeking to construct a 630-megawatt (MW) electric generating facility (with additional 62 MW generating capacity under summer conditions). The proposed facility would be built near the current location of the Salem Harbor Station, a coal-fired power plant that will be closed permanently.  

  • In addition to written comments, public comments can be expressed and submitted at a public hearing on Thursday, October 10, 2013 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Bentley Elementary School, 25 Memorial Drive in Salem.

MassDEP will not issue any final plan approval unless and until the state Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) has issued its approval as required by Massachusetts General Law. The proposed facility, Footprint Power, has been issued two draft permits: a proposed state Air Quality Plan Approval; and a draft Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit. MassDEP also issued a fact sheet related to the Draft PSD Permit. MassDEP is authorized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue PSD permits in Massachusetts. 

MassDEP reviewed the air quality impact analysis submitted with the application and determined the proposed facility's air emissions will not cause a significant impact on the air quality of contiguous states nor violate federal and state air quality standards, federal emission standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, any state air quality guidelines, or exceed PSD increments.

Copies of the official Public Notice, draft permits and a related Fact Sheet are posted here: Footprint Power Salem

Public participation is encouraged as it is an important opportunity for interested persons to weigh in on the Proposed Plan Approval and Draft PSD Permit. Final action by MassDEP is subject to the public review process.

Questions or requests to review the application file can be directed to MassDEP staffer Cosmo Buttaro at 978-694-3281. Written comments should be mailed to James Belsky, BWP Permit Section Chief, MassDEP - NERO, 205B Lowell Street, Wilmington, MA 01887. MassDEP will also accept written comments at:

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.