The Permit Modification
The New York City Department of Correction (NYCDOC) is proposing to modify and renew the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Title V Air Facility permit for the operation of electrical and steam generation equipment that are sources of regulated air contaminants (including a cogeneration plant, boilers, and emergency engines) at the NYCDOC Island Jail Complex (the facilities) as shown in the map to the right (Figure 1). In accordance with Commissioner Policy-29 Environmental Justice and Permitting (CP-29), NYSDEC requires the permit applicant (in this case NYCDOC) to develop and execute a public participation plan targeting the local community, and conduct outreach as part of the environmental permit review process. This website is part of the outreach effort.
The cogeneration plant on Rikers Island generates electricity for various uses on the island, and generates steam for heating, hot water, and other uses (e.g., laundry). The cogeneration plant generates most of the electricity and steam needed to serve the NYCDOC Island Jail Complex, reducing the amount of electricity needed from the Astoria power grid. NYCDOC also operates eight dual-fired (natural gas and fuel oil) boilers to supply steam during periods of peak demand on Rikers Island, or when the cogeneration plant is undergoing maintenance. In addition, NYCDOC operates diesel engines to provide emergency power to buildings and facilities on the Island in the event of a power outage. These engines are also allowed to operate during limited periods to provide power to buildings and facilities during periods of peak utility demand (known as a demand response program). This collection of electrical and steam generation equipment operates under a New York State Title V Air Facility permit.
NYCDOC is proposing modification of the limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) that can be emitted by the Island Jail Complex facility equipment under the Title V permit. Permit modifications will involve setting new NOx emission limits for the cogeneration plant and eliminating the current emission limits on the boilers. NYCDOC is also proposing permit modifications related to the emergency engines. These permit modifications would reduce the number of engines that could participate in demand response operations. No new equipment or physical modifications to the NYCDOC Island Jail Complex cogeneration plant, boilers, or emergency power engines are proposed.
Public Information Session
A virtual information session was held for members of the public to hear a presentation and learn about the permit application, and to ask the NYCDOC and their engineers questions about the permit. (See Documents page on this website to see a copy of the presentation.)
Date: June 22, 2023
Registration for the Public Information Session is now closed.