Nucla Station receives environmental leadership award
Tri-State first Colorado utility to garner achievement
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has awarded Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association 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.”
Tri-State also is the first electric cooperative in the United States to execute an EMS, according to Barbara Walz, vice president of environmental. “As part of that effort, employees have also worked hard to manage chemicals and reduce the volume of waste generated at the site by 90 percent since 2001,” she said.
Patty Morgan, chemistry and environmental supervisor, and Mark Muniz, environmental/water treatment coordinator, spearhead the regulatory efforts at the plant. “One of the things that has been helpful in keeping us compliant here at the plant is a training program that we have for all of our new hires in which we explain all of the applicable procedures that we must follow to meet a long list of state and federal requirements,” said Morgan.
Morgan worked with Chris Gilbreath, Tri-State’s water, waste and EMS manager, in submitting the documentation to the state for the award. “Nucla Station was chosen for its outstanding environmental protection record,” Gilbreath said. He also noted that other Tri-State facilities are being evaluated for future induction into the voluntary program.
An awards ceremony was held by the CDPHE on Oct. 21 in Denver. The department’s executive director, Jim Martin, said, “The CDPHE is pleased to welcome Tri-State into the Environmental Leadership Program. Tri-State joins about 80 other companies that have exhibited outstanding environmental stewardship in their work.”
“I think 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.”
Updated: October 30, 2008