Steamboat Springs It appears a 7-year-old dispute over clean air between the Sierra Club and the owner of the Craig power plant dodged a court hearing when negotiations resumed at the last minute.
Both sides claimed they were ready for the court battle that was supposed to begin on Monday, but progress reportedly has been made and a preliminary agreement has been reached.
According to the lawsuit, the environmental group is alleging the coal-fired Craig station, which is owned by Tri-State, violated the Clean Air Act thousands of times from 1991 to 1996. Citing data from the power plant, the Sierra Club claims units 1 and 2 on more than 14,000 occasions emitted more than the allowable density of particulate into the air.
Tri-State has denied the allegations and contends any violations at the plant were well within the limits of the law. The plant started operating in 1980 and has undergone numerous improvements in the 20 years since, company officials have said.
In addition to the action against Craig in 1993, the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit that year against Public Service Co. of Colorado for emissions violations at the Hayden power plant. That lawsuit never made it to court, however.