Minimal upgrades will be required of Wyoming's coal fired power plants

May 17, 2012

     The Environmental Protection Agency will require pollution controls be improved at the Jim Bridger plant near Rock Springs and the Dave Johnson plant near Glenrock, but some don’t think the requirements go far enough.  The changes are part of the E-P-A’s regional haze plan for Wyoming. 

Conservation groups have complained that many of Wyoming’s Coal fire power plants are getting older and that major upgrades are needed to reduce pollution.  Shannon Anderson of the Powder River Basin Resource Council says the state is a leader in coal production, but should not be a leader in coal pollution.

 “So as the state looks at ozone problems in southwest Wyoming, potential ozone problems in northeast Wyoming and other parts of the state, you know cleaning up these coal plants is a pretty easy cost effective way to create dramatic reductions in our pollution. ”

 Anderson says they wanted the E-P-A to require the best technology to reduce dangerous levels of nitrogen oxide at state power plants.  She says the technology is being required at 200 power plants across the country and believes it should have been applied here.

 “You know we think that standard should apply in Wyoming, where really our state can be a leader in the coal industry and promoting you know cleaner more advanced type of coal fired power as coal continues to be a part of the nation’s energy mix. ”

Coal company officials say that the E-P-A is requiring upgrades, but strict requirements could put some power plants in jeopardy.