Reclamation Effort Continues at Acme Power Plant
The Acme power plant in Sheridan has been undergoing a reclamation effort by the Sheridan County Conservation District (SCCD) since 2017.
Kristine Galloway, public information specialist for Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), said the project could take upwards of a decade due to all the environmental testing that needs to be done to ensure the site is safe.
Cindi Martinez, DEQ’s Brownfields Program supervisor, said the Acme site received an assessment grant for $325,000 in 2017 from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is due to expire sometime in 2021.
Carrie Rogaczewski, district manager of the SCCD, said the assessment grant has been used to find out how much work needs to be done and how many and what kinds of contaminants there are in the ground.
Martinez said across the state there are dozens of brownfield sites that could be cleaned up, however much of it is on private land, which is why the DEQ is currently only working six different sites.
Galloway said the DEQ helps with efforts like the clean up at the Acme power plant by managing the grants the groups like the SCCD receive from the EPA.
There is also danger of people trespassing on the site and getting injured, which Galloway said has happened multiple times, though no one thus far has gotten sick.
The process of cleaning up the Acme power plant is part of the larger project by the DEQ called the voluntary remediation program.
The program is aimed at addressing many different environmental issues across the state, with one aspect of it being brownfield sites, what the Acme power plant falls under, which are properties that have been abandoned due to possible environmental contamination.
In 2019, the University of Wyoming put together a history of the Acme power plant, stretching back to 1910 when the plant began operating.