Attorney: Accidentally released report shows emissions from plant violated federal standards

The Gazette (Colorado Springs): An accidentally disclosed report shows that sulfur-dioxide emissions from the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant violated federal standards contrary to filings by Colorado Springs Utilities, says Monument attorney Leslie Weise.

Weise was making her third court attempt to get that data when the key report suddenly materialized in her computer last week. The Colorado Court of Appeals inadvertently sent her the air-quality report that Utilities and a 4th District Court judge refused to release.

The report shows that the Drake plant consistently exceeded federal limits on SO2 emissions, said Weise, a clean air advocate, who was obligated to return the report to the court but was not barred from discussing what she read.

Now Weise is asking the Court of Appeals to call an emergency hearing to release Exhibit D of the report by AECOM Technical Services Inc., hired by Utilities in December 2013 to help with air-quality assessments and modeling and meteorological monitoring, according to its contract.

Utilities on Monday denied that the AECOM report contained emissions data.

“The information developed by AECOM is not data on actual emissions from the plant,” spokeswoman Amy Trinidad said by email. “Actual emissions data has been and continues to be made publicly available.”

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