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APRIL 23, 1996


Item 1 Minutes

Submittal of the minutes of the April 9, 1996 Cabinet meeting.



Item 2 Florida Power & Light Final Order

REQUEST: Consideration of a Final Order recommending that the Siting Board grant certification to Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) for the location, construction, operation and maintenance of the Manatee Orimulsion Project subject to the Conditions of Certification.

COUNTY: Manatee

APPLICANT: Florida Power & Light Company (FPL).

LOCATION: The existing plant is located approximately five miles east of Parrish, Florida, and north of SR 62 in the north central portion of Manatee County.

STAFF REMARKS: On September 7, 1994, the Public Service Commission found that FPL's plan to convert its two existing 1600 megawatt Manatee units to burn Orimulsion "is reasonable and prudent." Under that order, the net savings from the Project will be passed on directly to FPL's customers through reduced charges in the fuel cost recovery clause portion of customers' monthly bills. As a result of the savings, the Project will allow FPL to increase the average annual capacity factor of the Plant from its historical level of 30 percent up to 87 percent. On September 27, 1995, the department's written analysis was issued recommending that the project be certified subject to proposed Conditions of Certification. The final hearing in this case was held in Palmetto, Florida, from November 28 through December 13, 1995, before J. Lawrence Johnston, Division of Administrative Hearings Hearing Officer.

In his Recommended Order the Hearing Officer found and held at paragraph 265 the following:

"Operation of the converted Plant will result in environmental and other benefits as compared to current utilization of the site and operation of the existing plant. Environmental benefits include significant reductions in total air emissions on both a plant-wide and system-wide basis, reduced human health risks from air pollutants, very substantial decreases from the currently-permitted air emission levels, reductions of permitted water withdrawals from the Little Manatee River, enhancement and preservation of wetland areas in the vicinity of the Plant, and reduced risks of fuel spills in Tampa Bay and statewide. Other benefits include significant savings to FPL's customers, the creation of jobs both during and after construction, increased governmental revenues in the form of additional taxes and port charges, and enhancement of FPL's ability to compete with coal-fired power plants in adjacent and nearby states if and when retail wheeling becomes a reality in Florida. The Project will benefit the local economies of Manatee and Hillsborough counties, as well as the statewide economy of Florida."

In paragraph 266 of his Recommended Order the Hearing Officer, specifically referencing the standard of Section 403.5175(4)(c) of the Power Plant Siting Act, continued:

"The proposed design and operation of the converted Plant will minimize, through the use of reasonable and available methods, adverse effects on human health, the environment, and the ecology of the land and its wildlife and the ecology of state waters and their aquatic life:

Department of Environmental Protection

Agenda - April 23, 1996

Page Two


Item 2, cont.

"(a) In order to minimize the risk of fuel spills, FPL and its fuel contractor {Bitor America Corporation} have committed to extraordinary safety measures over and above those required by state and federal regulations. However, Bitor's commitments should be made part of the Conditions of Certification {Note: Pursuant to the Hearing Officer's recommendation, those commitments have been made a part of the final Conditions of Certification}.

"(b) In addition to new scrubbers for control of SO2 emissions and ESPs for control of particulate and toxic emissions, FPL will install state-of-the art low-NOx burners and reburn technology to control NOx emissions. FPL also has agreed to measures designed to further minimize NOx emissions during the ozone season. It is technically feasible to reduce NOx emissions even further, or to shut down to cap NOx emissions, but such a certification condition would not be reasonable, especially in view the demonstration that the environmental benefit from such measures would be too small to measure.

"(c) FPL will minimize surface water withdrawals from the Little Manatee River by using reclaimed water and currently-permitted groundwater sources before resorting to surface water withdrawals. Again, further reductions are possible by shutting the plant down to avoid surface water use, but such a certification condition would not be reasonable, especially in view of the demonstration that the environmental benefit from such measures would be too small to measure. Besides, FPL's currently-permitted surface water use is grandfathered under SWFWMD {Southwest Florida Water Management District} statutes and rules.

"(d) FPL will undertake wetland mitigation measures beyond those required under applicable regulations. While no specific agency standards apply to the temporary by-product storage area or the backup by-product disposal area, the storage area will be designed and operated in accordance with DEP's standards for phosphogypsum stack systems, and the disposal area will be designed in accordance with DEP's design standards for Class I landfills.

"(e) Transportation improvements will be made to local roadways, although not required for compliance with applicable transportation standards.

"By these and other measures, FPL has committed to implement reasonable and available measures above and beyond those required in applicable regulations to minimize adverse impacts to human health and safety, and the environment."

The Final Order approves and adopts the Recommended Order submitted by the Hearing Officer, with minor modifications, to grant certification subject to proposed Conditions of Certification. The department recommends that the project be certified for conversion of the 1600 megawatt units to burn Orimulsion subject to the final Conditions of Certification, pursuant to the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act, Section 403.501, et seq., F.S.

(See Attachment 2, Pages 1-596)