earth-view - shutterstockOne day a year—Earth Day—the world comes together to celebrate environmental stewardship. Here at WRA, every day is Earth Day! We work hard every day to protect the West’s land, air, and water. We have accomplished a lot of great things over this past year and what better day to share some of our accomplishments than Earth Day. Throughout our three strategic program areas – land, energy, and water – we have helped the West achieve a number of successes that will conserve and protect our precious natural resources.

Land

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Photo by Dana Bove (Photography for a Change)

  • WRA was one of only a few environmental organizations directly involved with the rulemaking to reduce methane emissions and smog pollutants from natural gas facilities in Colorado.
  • Our partnership with Audubon Rockies, combined with focused legal work, led to more upfront disqualifications of Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases in Wyoming. of priority Greater Sage-grouse habitats..
  • Gary Graham, our Lands Program Director, helped incorporate environmental and clean energy future considerations within the 2013 Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) Interconnection-wide Transmission Plan, which examines transmission expansion possibilities for renewable energy.
  • WRA was a part of the ruling that forces the Forest Service to consider impacts of Off Road Vehicle use in its planning process.

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  •  Xcel Energy’s proposed Electric Resource Plan for Colorado reflects the priorities advocated by WRA – including 450 MW of wind and 170 MW of photovoltaics.
  • WRA was a part of the Carbon Risk Reduction Rule petition that could reduce CO2 emissions in New Mexico by 3% per year thru 2035.
  • WRA, along with several other groups, developed a plan for the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.  If accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the plan will improve visibility, reduce reliance on coal at the plant, cut carbon pollution, and foster clean energy economic development.
  • Salt Lake City has some of the worst air pollution in the country. WRA successfully intervened in an EPA case that forces several Utah counties to follow the preferred pollution particulate size regulations.

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  • WRA was the only conservation group that participated in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing to strengthen reporting requirements to protect streams and groundwater from spills of toxic chemicals at drilling and hydraulic fracturing sites.
  • We organized a series of workshops that helped reduce the “water footprint” of new development along Colorado’s Front Range. Because of these workshops, land use actions that save water are already being implemented in Aurora, CO.
  • We successfully appealed a groundwater permit granted to a large tar sands mine, for failing to consider impact on groundwater resources and for failing to test for likely pollutants.
  • We published three reports demonstrating the benefits of conservation and alternative water supplies by comparison to traditional concrete and steel approaches such as dams.