ARPA received a legal complaint filed by the city of Trinidad, one of its member municipalities, on March 3, 2011.  In it, Trinidad sought to terminate its relationship with ARPA. ARPA has been supplying Trinidad’s wholesale energy requirements since 1979. ARPA members have a contractual obligation to purchase their electricity through ARPA. ARPA’s members are small, rural communities that benefit from the joint buying power/joint cost sharing of electricity purchasing and generation.  We are disputing claims made by Trinidad and evaluating counterclaims for damages incurred.

News Release on Trinidad

WildEarth Guardians

The WildEarth Guardians, a New Mexico-based environmental group, has filed two lawsuits against ARPA, the Lamar Utilities Board and Lamar Light & Power, with the intention of shutting down the Repowering Project. The courts are reviewing both suits.

The first suit, filed in 2009 in U.S. District Court, asserts that the Repowering Project is in violation of federal Clean Air Act standards because it is not built to a federal requirement known as Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT).  MACT standards apply to “major” sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) that have the potential to emit more than 10 tons a year of any single HAP or 25 tons of any combination of HAPS.

ARPA’s legal counsel has filed motions to dismiss the suit because the Repowering Project is not, and has never been, a “major” source of hazardous air pollutants.  In fact, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently issued a draft permit for the Repowering Project that specified that the single highest HAPS emissions source will not exceed 5.9 tons, well below the threshold to be considered a major source. CDPHE has also stated that stack testing done at the Repowering Project shows that emissions “have never exceeded major source thresholds.”

Another lawsuit, filed March 2011, asserts that in 2010 the Lamar Repowering Project has violated the federal Clean Air Act.

As expected with new facilities, the plant’s operations have required fine-tuning to ensure it meets all applicable limits of the permit and follows the federal law. Going above and beyond regulatory requirements, ARPA suspended plant operations in December 2010 to ensure the plant operated in full compliance with its environmental permits.

At that time, the plant identified and self reported exceedences for nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates to CDPHE. In 2011, ARPA and CDPHE agreed on a resolution, known as a Compliance Order on Consent that addressed all the exceedances.  ARPA and the Lamar Utilities Board are continuing to work with regulators to ensure compliance, and will not re-start the Lamar Repowering Project until it is expected to operate in full compliance with all emissions requirements.

ARPA has filed a motion to dismiss the suit because the violations have been fully addressed by the Compliance Order with Colorado regulators.

News Release on WildEarth Guardians