Also at the meeting
At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:
• Approved, 2-0, payroll warrant resolutions ending Aug. 8 totaling $683,379.15.
• Approved, 2-0, voided warrants for the month of August totaling $1,346.35.
• Approved, 2-0, department of social services electronic funds transfer and payroll totaling $298,736.65.
• Approved, 2-0, a budget supplemental, which had no change to the contingency.
• Approved, 2-0, a personnel requisition for the sheriff’s office for a regular, part-time master control operator at the Moffat County Jail, an existing position.
• Approved, 2-0, a personnel requisition for the sheriff’s office for a regular, full-time Dinosaur contract deputy with the stipulation that the current compensation contract stay in place.
• Approved, 2-0, a personnel requisition for the department of social services for a regular, full-time, level one social caseworker, an existing position.
• Approved, 2-0, a personnel requisition for the department of social services for an occasional, part-time level three social caseworker for up to $5,000 in total salary.
• Approved, 2-0, to sign resolution No. 2010-80 to support the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado’s petition for a judicial review of the Air Quality Commission’s denial of an early request to comment on certain emissions reduction plans pursuant to Colorado House Bill 10-1365.
Note: Commissioner Tom Mathers was absent from the meeting.
Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray contends communities that develop energy should have had a voice in the recent passing of Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.
Following the bill’s passing, Gray and the commission are pushing for state regulatory commissions to consider how the bill and its fallout would impact Moffat County.
The bill requires some Front Range power plants to submit emission reduction plans that “give primary consideration to replacing or re-powering coal-fired electric generators with natural gas and to also consider other low-emitting resources including energy efficiency,” according to the bill.
The county commission signed a petition in late June requesting the Air Quality Control Commission allow public input on the emission reduction plans required by the bill, but the petition was denied in July.
At its regular Tuesday meeting, the commission approved, 2-0, signing resolution No. 2010-80 in support of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado’s response to the petition’s denial by the AQCC.
Commissioner Tom Mathers was absent.
By signing the resolution, the commission will support and participate in an AGNC request for a judicial review of the petition’s denial by the Air Quality Control Commission.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Gray read a section from the bill, which states the bill will be “implemented in a manner to address the sound economic health and environmental conditions of energy-producing communities.”
“It’s clear that the intent of the legislature when it passed (bill) 1365 was that the impact on energy-producing communities be considered and that is what it says,” Gray said.
By denying the petition to comment on the emissions reduction plans, Gray said the Air Quality Control Commission was not following the intent of the legislation.
“That seems to fly right in the face of the legislation,” he said.
Jeff Comstock, Moffat County Natural Resources director, said it would be “irresponsible” for any government to not look out for the interests of communities affected by the legislation.
“The take-home point, I would say, is that we need to jump in at every chance we can, otherwise we don’t want to let any doors close behind us on an opportunity to have our concerns heard,” he said.
The Air Quality Control Commission approved Xcel Energy’s emission reduction plans Friday for several coal-fired power plants in the state and sent them to the Public Utilities Commission for review.
According to a news release from Gov. Bill Ritter’s office, local governments and parties will have until Sept. 17 to submit comments to the PUC. A public hearing will take place Sept. 23.
According to a news release from Xcel Energy, the plans are a “low-cost option to significantly reduce Colorado coal-fired generations emissions,” through retiring, re-powering or retrofitting several power plants.
The plan seeks to retire 903 megawatts of coal generation at the 186-megawatt Valmont Station and the 717-megawatt Cherokee Station by the end of 2017.
The plan also seeks to re-power the Cherokee Station with 883 megawatts of natural gas generation. Xcel also plans to switch Arapahoe Station’s unit-four with 111 megawatts of natural gas.
The 446-megawatt Hayden Station and the 505-megawatt Pawnee Station will be retrofitted with “modern emission control technology,” according to the release.
According to the Xcel release, the plan would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from the targeted power plants by 75 percent by 2017, and 89 percent by 2022. The plan, if approved, will cost about $1.3 billion over the next 12 years, according to the release.
The plan is expected to increase customers’ bills by 1 percent each year for the next 10 years on average, according to the release.