Colorado Springs, which as recently as the fall of 2012 had been ranked in the top 10 cities with the cleanest air, is being threatened with suit by the Sierra Club.
The threat of lawsuit, an attempt to pressure Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) to close down the Martin Drake coal fired power plant, cites dozens of improvements made to the Martin Drake facility since its construction in 1925 and claims that “best available control technologies” (BACT) were not used in conjunction with those improvements.
Despite the sudden claims by war on coal activists of the pending threat of harmful pollution and toxins produced by the Martin Drake power plant, years of data by a wide variety of independent groups have consistently ranked Colorado Springs environmental report card among one of the best “green” cities in the nation:
- Colorado Springs ranked in the top 20 for areas with the cleanest air in the American Lung Association (2006)
- Colorado Springs was ranked 3rd greatest place to live according to Earth Day Network’s new environmental report card. The new report evaluates a long list of environmental and health indicators including toxics and waste; air quality; drinking and surface water; quality of life; parks and recreation opportunities; human and public health; and global warming and climate change. (February 2007)
- Colorado Springs ranked as the fittest city in the country as ranked by Men’s Fitness magazine. The survey was based on 14 categories ranging from the number of fitness centers to air quality to commute times. (February 2008)
- Colorado Springs ranked in the top 20 for areas with the cleanest air in the American Lung Association (ALA) State of the Air 2008 report. (May 2008)
- Colorado Springs ranked 2nd fittest city in the country as ranked by Men’s Fitness magazine. The survey was based on 14 categories ranging from the number of fitness centers to air quality to commute times. (January 2009)
- Colorado Springs ranked 14th for areas with the cleanest air in the American Lung Association (ALA) State of the Air 2009 report. (April 2009)
- Colorado ranked 15th in the top states in developing a “clean-energy economy,” according to a report out this week by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The study was comprised of five categories: (1) Clean Energy; (2) Energy Efficiency; (3) Environmentally Friendly Production; (4) Conservation and Pollution Mitigation; and (5) Training and Support. (June 2009)
- Colorado Springs ranked 7th “Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid” by Backpacker Magazine. The survey used metrics including climate, landscape, air pollution, obesity rates, Boy’s Life subscribers, and online voting by Backpacker readers. (September 2009)
- Colorado Springs ranked 18th greenest city by The Daily Beast. To find the greenest cities with 100,000 or more people, rankings were based on citizen behavior across five categories with the final ranking determined by a comparison of each city’s performance compared to the average for each category. (April 2011)
- Colorado ranked 2nd top state for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census information according to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). (January 2012)
- Colorado ranked 6th wellbeing in the Nation by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The ranking is based on life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and basic access to clean water, medicine, food, shelter, healthcare, etc. (March 2012)
- Colorado Springs ranked in the top 15 “cleanest cities” in the U.S. according to American Lung Association, as gauged by average year-round and 24-hour levels of particle pollution, “the most dangerous and deadly widespread air pollutant in America,” according to the lung association. Particle pollution includes ash, soot, diesel exhaust, dust and acids. Colorado Springs also ranked 7th for having the lowest level of year-round, fine-particle pollution, based on data for 2008-10. (April 2012)