LB - Northland Motorsports

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | GrandCanyonTourGuide.com
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 24, 2016


7/30/2013 10:54:00 AM
Navajo Generating Station offers EPA alternative plan to cut emissions
The Navajo Generating Station burns locally mined coal, providing jobs and power for the Central Arizona Project and other services. In the process, it also produces some of the largest amounts of air pollution among power plants in the West.Photo/R.J. Hall via Wikipedia Commons
The Navajo Generating Station burns locally mined coal, providing jobs and power for the Central Arizona Project and other services. In the process, it also produces some of the largest amounts of air pollution among power plants in the West.

Photo/R.J. Hall via Wikipedia Commons
Clearing the air
An alternative plan proposed by Navajo Generating Station owners to achieve pollution reductions demanded by the Environmental Protection Agency would:

• Shut down one of the plant's three generating units by 2020.

• Implement technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 2030.

• Halt the use of coal by 2044.

Criteria that must be met:

• Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Nevada Energy must exit the Navajo Generating Station in 2019, as currently scheduled.

• The Navajo Nation cannot buy the previous owners' shares.

Emilie Eaton
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON - Owners of the Navajo Generating Station offered an alternative plan Friday to what they called a too-costly Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demand to reduce emissions from the coal-fired power plant near Page.

The plan, submitted to the EPA for review, calls for one of the plant's three generating units to be shut down by 2020, for installation of equipment to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 2030 and for an end to coal use by 2044.

It was a response to a proposed rule in February that the plant install equipment by 2018 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, a project that critics said could cost as much as $1.1 billion. The EPA encouraged alternative plans and the owners took them up on the offer.

The plan unveiled Friday was drawn up by the Navajo Nation, the Central Arizona Project, the Department of Interior and other groups with a stake in the power plant, along with representatives of environmental groups. They hailed the deal, saying it could save more than 1,000 private-sector jobs and save money for water and power customers.

But others worried that it will not do enough to improve air quality and protect the environment.

"This plant continues to pollute the air and national parks," said Kevin Dahl, Arizona program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association.

He called the proposal a step in the right direction, but said it still delays necessary air-quality improvements like those proposed by the EPA.

The Navajo Generating Station currently emits one of the largest amounts of nitrogen oxide in the West, said Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, who was part of the task force but opted out a few weeks ago. That pollution has health implications. Bahr pointed to a Clean Air Task Force report that attributed 16 deaths, 25 heart attacks and 300 asthma attacks in 2010 to fine particle pollution from the Navajo power plant.

The EPA plan would have required the Navajo Generating Station to install catalytic reduction technology by 2018 to cut nitrogen oxide emissions, in addition to other measures.

Instead of that, the plant's owners offered to shut down one of the generators after 2019, when two of the current owners - Nevada Energy and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - sell off their shares in the plant. The Navajo Nation would not be allowed to buy up those shares, under Friday's plan.

If those two companies do not get out as scheduled, the unit would not shut down but the Navajo Generating Station would instead commit itself to cutting an equivalent amount of nitrogen oxide emissions between 2020 and 2030.

"There's no clear path in the proposal in getting emission reductions," Bahr said, adding that there is a lot of "ambiguity" in the proposal.

She said the Sierra Club hopes the generating station will agree to a plan that meets requirements of the Clean Air Act and address pollution in Grand Canyon National Park. There also needs to be a clear commitment - that can be enforced - to clean energy, Bahr said.

But Mike Hummel, the associate general manager and chief power system executive at Salt River Project (SRP), which operates the plant, said the new plan improves air quality for people living in the Navajo Nation and saves jobs.

"Under any viewpoint imaginable, I think the people of Navajo Nation are in better shape," Hummel said.

Hummel said the EPA's proposal left questions as to whether the Navajo Generating Station would be able to continue operating.

The EPA wanted the power plant to limit nitrogen oxide emissions to 0.055 pounds per million British thermal unit, a level Hummel said is currently impossible at the plant. The alternative plan would limit emissions to a level of 0.07, which Hummel called much more reasonable.

Besides SRP, the plant's owners include the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Nevada Energy, Tucson Electric Power, Arizona Public Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Their proposal will undergo technical review to make sure it meets the Clean Air Act, said EPA spokesman Rusty Harris-Bishop. The public comment period is open until Oct. 4, 2013.

"In recognition of the multitude of interests and stakeholders involved, we encouraged interested stakeholders to engage in a robust public discussion," Harris-Bishop said in a statement Friday. "We look forward to reviewing any and all alternatives."


    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack




Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Northland Motorsports

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, nhonews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved