Conservation District Awaits EA on Power Plant

As Sheridan Media reported earlier, the Sheridan County Conservation District has taken the first step toward acquiring the site of the former Acme Power Plant.

In a follow-up interview with Sheridan Media, Conservation District Manager Carrie Rogaczewski said the next step will depend on the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

She said the assessment process could take a few years to complete. She said during the environmental assessment process, the conservation district will work through the details regarding ownership of the power plant site. She said no future plans can, or will, be made for the site until completion of the assessments. She said she also doesn't know whether the assessment process has started yet.

The conservation district is working in partnership with others including the Sheridan Community Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Northeast Wyoming.

Rogaczewski said no one really knows a lot at this point, except that something needs to be done with the old power plant site, and it's necessary that any applicant applying for federal and state funds for cleaning up the site must own the site. She said that's why the conservation district is pursuing the site purchase.

In a news release from the conservation district, Rogaczewski said the mission of the partnership is to maintain and enhance the current agricultural character, wildlife habitat and natural resources of the Tongue River Valley.

The one-time power plant is in the townsite of Acme, one of the coal mining communities that flourished north of Sheridan in the early years of the twentieth century. The town was owned by the coal mining company and was sold, and the last residents told to move out, in the 1970s.