Settlement Calls For Coal Ash Cleanup At Colstrip

Jul 21, 2016

Three environmental groups settled their lawsuit from 2012 over coal ash pollution at the Colstrip power plant on Thursday.

The groups, represented by Earthjustice, sued Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the power plant’s multiple owners to stop wet ash disposal at Colstrip

Jenny Harbine is an Earthjustice attorney.

"This settlement will achieve resolution to a groundwater problem that has plagued the Colstrip area for decades," says Harbine.

In Thursday’s settlement, the plant’s owners agreed to convert to dry disposal of waste ash no later than 2022.

Talen Energy declined our interview request, but provided this statement.

Between now and 2022, the settlement requires Colstrip’s owners to develop a plan to clean up existing water contamination from wet coal ash disposal.  

The conservation groups also agreed to refrain from some future lawsuits.