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Health, Science & Environment

Coal-Waste Controversy Winds Up in Court

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Judy Fahys/KUER
Rocky Mountain Power disputes the claims of environmental groups that have filed a lawsuit accusing the company of mismanaging coal waste and causing contamination at the Huntington Power Plant in Emery County.

Environmental groups announced a federal lawsuit this week over coal-ash at Rocky Mountain Power’s Huntington power plant in Emery County.

The groups say waste that’s been mismanaged for decades at the Huntington Power Plant is contaminating nearby water and land with toxic coal waste. Their suit against the electric utility and its parent company says pollutants like lead and mercury have leached into groundwater and surface water, and the practices put the public health and the environment at risk.

In contrast, the company says it’s been expecting the suit despite what it calls an excellent record of complying with state and federal environmental laws and a strong green ethic. Rocky Mountain Power is accusing the Sierra Club, HEAL Utah and a group called Public Justice of misrepresenting the facts to advance their goal of eliminating coal-fired power generation.

The flap’s played out this week in dueling news releases.

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