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WYO Power Plant Pollution Suit - Push Coming to (Legal) Shove

February 21, 2007

Two Wyoming groups will file suit in federal court today against PacifiCorp, charging air pollution violations at the Jim Bridger Power Plant near Rock Springs should stop. Tom Bell, with the Wyoming Outdoor Council, says thousands of air pollution violations have been documented by the company, yet they continue without punishment. He says the air pollution includes lung-damaging particles, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and mercury.

"That stuff goes into the air, and eventually it gets to southeastern Wyoming and northern Nebraska."

A spokesperson for PacifiCorp says the company has not seen the lawsuit and cannot comment, but he points out the company has worked with local groups in the past to address pollution concerns.

Bell admits Jim Bridger plant operators have shown willingness in the past to do something about the air pollution, such as install smokestack pollution monitors.

"They're a real responsible company in most ways, but they don't take care of their dirty air, and we thought it was about time somebody called them to task."

The lawsuit will be filed in federal court today.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WY