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AZ legislators call for safeguards against Apache Generating Station pollution

Oil and Gas Refinery Powerplant
Posted at 10:42 AM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 13:42:12-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona legislators and public health officials are calling on President Joe Biden and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce air and water pollution from the Apache Generating Station in Cochise County.

Among those calling on the Biden administration for action are State Representative Morgan Abraham (LD-10) and former State Senator Kirsten Engel (D).

They are citing 41 Clean Air Act violations over the last five years and daily water use measuring 1.6 million gallons as cause for concern.

In addition to the power plant's environmental impact, the lawmakers and health advocates say risk for respiratory illness needs addressing.

Advocates are also calling for the EPA to implement stronger Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

The Apache Generating Station is one of six power plants in Cochise County and is equipped for both coal and natural gas processing.

It provides power to over 420,000 residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial consumers. Apache Generating Station is located 76 miles from Tucson.

In response to former Senator Engel and Rep. Abraham' statements, which reported that AEPCO’s Apache Generating Station has had 41 Clean Air Act violations over the past five years, Arizona Electric Power Cooperative says:

This statement is false and appears to reflect a misreading of a report [] on EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online report (ECHO).

ECHO is available to the public and publishes information on both state and federal enforcement and compliance activities for several environmental programs with respect to specific facilities regulated under those programs.

The ECHO report does not include any violation relating to Apache Station for the last five years.

The co-op is placing emphasis on the fact that the 41 alleged violations were actually "Compliance Monitoring Activities."