A pollution reduction project has begun to eliminate sulfur dioxide from the gas emitted from the Drake Power Plant.
According to Colorado Springs Utilities, this project does not mean the air in Colorado Springs is unsafe to breath. Michael Brady, environmental projects manager with CSU, said the air in the Pikes Peak Region is in compliance with all health-based standards.
Instead, the $130 million dollar project is designed to eliminate sulfur dioxide and reduce visibility issues in nearby areas such as national parks and monuments.
“There is a congressional mandate to restore visibility to what is considered to be its natural conditions over a 60-year period. This is basically the first step in that process,” said Brady.
The project includes relocating underground utilities, installing foundations for tanks, enclosing the tanks in a structure and installing a scrubber. CSU said the technology that is to be used was developed by a local company, and is the first of its kind to be implemented in this manner.
“The sulfur dioxide will be removed as a liquid and be processed in the building where the tanks will be constructed, and then sent to the landfill as a solid byproduct,” said Brady.
This project is designed to comply with the standards defined by the Clean Air Act. If CSU failed to comply, it would face a $37,000 fine per day until the pollutant was removed.
The project has been in the design phase since 2010.
Rate dollars are being used to fund the project.
For more information on CSU rates, click here.
For more information on the CSU budget, click here.