Two environmental nonprofits, WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity, sued the administration of Governor Jared Polis this week, alleging it took too long to consider operating permits for air pollutants in Adams County .
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the 17th Judicial District Court in Adams County, “is to meet a legally required deadline to review and update pollution permits,” said Matthew Koehler, a spokesman for WildEarth Guardians’ Air Pollution Control Division. Targets the failure of.”
The case comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is set to downgrade the state’s air quality status from “severe” to “severe” for failing to improve air quality. That downgrade would mean higher gas prices and require more businesses to apply for emissions permits under the federal Clean Air Act.
Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians, said in a statement that Polis’ administration has effectively given the oil and gas industry a “free pass to pollute.”
Representatives for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“For the health of Coloradans and Colorado communities, this delay has to stop, polluters must be held accountable,” Nichols said.
The lawsuit targets the Watenberg Methane Gas Processing Plant, the Sinclair Denver Products Oil Terminal, the Phillips 66 Denver Oil Terminal and the Eastern Regional Landfill.
All four facilities applied for updated operating permits between 2007 and 2020, the lawsuit claims, and the Air Pollution Control Division has taken over the 18-month limit to grant or deny those applications.
The litigation seeks to set a time frame for the division’s decisions, the release said.
“If a source of air pollution cannot operate in compliance with state and federal clean air laws, its operating permit must be denied,” the release said.