Environmental commitment to Tri-State's power facilities
Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) are in place at generation facilities to measure air emissions from each plant. Emission data is acquired on a minute-by-minute basis and monitored by Tri-State. This information is periodically compiled into reports that are submitted to state and federal agencies. Daily air emissions monitoring and quarterly reporting is conducted at each of Tri-State’s generation facilities. Air quality requirements are based on a two tier test: to protect human health and protect environment. Tri-State meets or goes beyond air quality permit requirements.
Tri-State monitors and reports on the quality of drinking water, groundwater, storm water and wastewater at our generating stations in accordance with applicable local, state and federal permits and regulations. Our goal is to ensure compliance with all applicable water quality regulations. Tri-State promotes resource efficiency in our operations through the prevention and minimization of water pollution. Tri-State meets or exceeds water quality permit requirements.
Tri-State utilizes a compliance based pollution prevention approach and incorporates pollution prevention into all aspects of our EMS. Our operating practices encourage the use of non-hazardous or less hazardous chemicals. The purchase, inventory, and use of chemical products are closely controlled at all generation facilities in order to minimize the generation of hazardous wastes. This practice enables Tri-State to further protect employees and the environment, reduce waste generation while complying with chemical reporting requirements.
In 2002, the association embarked on its largest environmental project upgrade at Craig Station. The four-year retrofit to Units 1 and 2 improved the ability of Tri-State to remove minute solid particles with the upgrade to wet scrubbers, low-NOx burners and baghouses, which have, in fact, led to surpassing compliance requirements.
Nucla Station features the world's first utility-scale power plant to utilize atmospheric circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) combustion - one of the most advanced clean-coal technologies. CFB provides more than 70-percent capture of sulfur dioxide emissions and the station’s fabric-filter baghouse collects 90 percent of all particulates.
Each of our other facilities has been constructed with state-of-the-art equipment designed for flue gas clean-up and particulate control.
Environmental Leadership Award
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has awarded Tri-State as a Bronze Achiever under the Colorado Environmental Leadership program (ELP) for making significant achievements in operating its 100-megawatt Nucla Station in compliance with all air, land and water regulations. Tri-State is the only electric utility in the state to be admitted into the program, which has been in place since 1999.
Located outside the southwestern Colorado town for which it is named, the power plant was selected for the ELP award due to its implementation of the Environmental Management System (EMS) over the past eight years. “This is a great achievement for our employees at Nucla Station,” said Mike McInnes, Tri-State’s senior vice president of production. “It serves as an acknowledgment of the measures that we are already taking at our power plants to meet environmental compliance requirements.”