Judge says waste water from coal plant ponds is "alarming"

Matthew Brown, Associated Press

A judge says he's alarmed over the massive volume of contaminated water still leaking from storage ponds at an eastern Montana coal-fired power plant, four years after an agreement was reached to address the problem.

 

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge says he's alarmed over the massive volume of contaminated water still leaking from storage ponds at an eastern Montana coal-fired power plant, four years after an agreement was reached to address the problem.

A 2012 deal between state regulators and the plant's manager was intended to clean up decades of contamination at the Colstrip power plant.

But District Judge Robert Deschamps said in a Wednesday ruling that 380 gallons of waste is leaking from the ponds every minute. That's almost 200 million gallons annually.

Deschamps said environmentalists can proceed with a lawsuit challenging the handling of pollution from Colstrip.

Opponents say Colstrip could close long before plant manager Talen Energy cleans up the problem. Talen is seeking to exit Colstrip.

Attorneys for the state had sought to dismiss the case.

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