Colorado coal power plant shuts down as part of settlement

A coal-fired power plant in Lamar, Colo., will close as part of a settlement reached July 2 between WildEarth Guardians and the Arkansas River Power Authority (APRA). The settlement is the result of two federal lawsuits filed against the utility by WildEarth, which alleged APRA was violating the Clean Air Act at the coal-fired Lamar Repowering Project.

APRA and city-owned utility Lamar Light & Power have also agreed to pay $125,000 to develop clean energy projects in southeast Colorado. The agreement also recovers nominal fees and costs incurred by the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic and WildEarth Guardians, as allowed by the Clean Air Act.  In total, the Arkansas River Power Authority will pay $450,000 as part of the settlement.

The 44-megawatt coal-fired power plant is now offline and will remain offline until Feb. 1, 2022. However, limited testing at the plant will still take place.

According to the APRA website, the Lamar Repowering Project was built in answer to historically volatile natural gas prices and the insecurity of buying power from regional generators.  Conceived of in 2003, the power plant converted the former Lamar Light & Power natural gas-fired power plant to a coal-fired facility.

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