Target: Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment
Goal: Encourage investment in clean renewable energy by enforcing pollution restrictions and closing outdated coal plants
For over twenty years, two coal plants in Colorado Springs, under the oversight of Colorado Springs Utilities, have polluted the air in this region, not heeding regulations, and threatening public health. Colorado Springs Utilities customers are widely in favour of renewable energy investment, but the company has placed its profits first, continuing its coal production. The Colorado state government and the Environmental Protection Agency must enforce the Clean Air Act in regard to coal plants, and in the case of non-compliance, shut the plants down.
The Martin Drake and Ray D. Nixon coal-fired power plants have pursued dozens of construction projects without obtaining permits in compliance with pollution regulations. The plants are both several decades old, require increasing maintenance costs, and are known threats to public health.
In a given year, they emit thousands of tons of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, and over ten pounds of mercury into city air. Needless to say, these emissions cause severe respiratory and heart problems throughout the area, resulting in an estimate of almost 100 million dollars worth of health care costs in 2010.
Despite widespread interest and pressure from customers to move towards renewable energy and away from coal, Colorado Springs Utilities has refused opportunities to phase out coal and invest in clean energy. The company faces a potential lawsuit, along with non-attainment designation by the EPA, and thus limits on permit availability.
This would be debilitating for the local economy, whereas investing in renewable energy would be beneficial. Demand that the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment enforce the Clean Air Act in regard to these coal plants, require proper permits, and above all, encourage the phasing out of coal towards investment in renewable energy.
Dear Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment,
Two aging Colorado Springs coal-fired power plants have endangered public health and the environment, namely air quality, for several decades. It is time for Colorado to enforce strict pollution restrictions, begin to phase out coal, and invest in clean renewable energy for the benefit of public health, the environment, and the economy.
Colorado Springs Public Utilities has not obtained adequate permits for several construction projects at the Ray D. Nixon and Martin Drake Coal Plants, and staggering emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and mercury have violated the Clean Air Act. Residents of Colorado Springs and surrounding regions continue to deal with costly health issues from these emissions, and call for a transition to renewable energy.
Threats of a lawsuit, increasing maintenance costs for the old plants, and EPA non-attainment designation which would restrict permits, would be disastrous for the local economy, whereas renewable energy could lead to long-term stability. Please protect the Colorado environment and public health by enforcing compliance with the Clean Air Act, safely phase-out old coal plants, and encourage clean energy investment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: eioua via Flickr