The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has rejected a petition put forth by a lobby of Icelandic geothermal energy producers to postpone the implementation of new regulations on the release of hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere.
According to a recent posting on the Ministry’s website the new regulations on the production and release of hydrogen sulfide will take effect July 14, 2014. A group representing three major energy companies, Orkuveita Reykjavíkur, HS Orka og Landsvirkjun, had applied for a six year extension on meeting the new regulations but the Ministry has rejected the petition, stating that failure to comply with the new standards will result in permit confiscations.
The Ministry has further confirmed that the majority of geothermal plants should be able to comply with the new standards, with the exception of Hellisheiði Power Station in the Southwest. Heillisheiði is Iceland’s largest geothermal station and the second largest in the world. A health inspection conducted in March of this year revealed that Hellisheiði Power Station was releasing dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide into the greater Reykjavík area.