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Willmar Utilities hires firms to conduct air emissions test

WILLMAR — The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has approved the hiring of two engineering firms to conduct an air quality test at the downtown power plant.

The test is a requirement of the utility’s Minnesota Pollution Control Agency air emissions permit and is called a relative accuracy test audit on the power plant’s continuous emission monitoring system.

The commission voted Monday to approve a recommendation by Jon Folkedahl, supervisor of electric production, to hire Campbell Sevey of Minnetonka and Interpoll Laboratories of Circle Pines to conduct the test.

Folkedahl said both firms work together to accomplish the test. The cost is $8,505.

He said the power plant is required basically on an annual basis to do one type of air quality test or another. He said the purpose of the relative accuracy test audit is to make sure the continuous emission monitoring system is functioning as intended and accurately.

He said the test is required annually, unless accuracy is within 15 percent of the standards.

“In that event you can skip a year,’’ he said.

The system at the power plant has been within 15 percent on every test so far, so the test has been conducted every other year, he said.

“The last one we did was in 2012,’’ he said.

He said the continuous emissions monitoring system essentially measures the amount of sulfur dioxide that is emitted. The utility is required to minimize and measure the amount of sulfur dioxide emitted under the MPCA air emissions quality permit. The utility is required to submit the test results to MPCA.

He said Campbell Sevey installed the continuous emission monitoring system hardware and software and has serviced and maintained it since installation in 1993.

He said Interpoll Laboratories has provided air quality testing to Willmar since 1981. During the test, Interpoll inserts probes into the boiler flue gas stack, collects gas samples and analyzes them in real time on site, Folkedahl said.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150