Letter: Navajo Nation's hasn't cleared the air
"In July 2006, the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to force implementation of the Clean Air Act standards on the two plants in the Four Corners. However, according to an article in the Albuquerque Journal, the Navajo Nation, as a sovereign nation, is allowed to opt out of specific federal Clean Air Act regulations.

To date, the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency has not forced the plants to "clean up their act." The two plants on the Rez are among the dirtiest coal-fired plants in the country, releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury into the air.

Coal-fired steam plants, such as the planned Desert Rock, affect the environment in ways we do not see coming out of the smoke stack. According to the EPA Clean Energy Web site, large quantities of water are frequently needed to remove impurities from coal at the mine. And coal-fired power plants use large quantities of water for producing steam and for their cooling towers. Pollutants build up in the water used in the power plant boiler and cooling system. It can't be pumped back into the lakes and waters as it would harm the fish and plants.

Can we afford to allocate large portions of our water to another coal-fired power plant? This would take water away from recreational and agricultural uses, and from our towns and cities. It would also affect our streams and rivers by pumping water from the water tables or by diverting water that flows to downstream uses."

Get the Story:
Dixie D. Jackson: Cleaning the air on the Navajo Nation (The Farmington Daily Times 3/27)

Relevant Links:
Desert Rock Clean Air Act Proposed PSD Permit - http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/permit
Desert Rock Energy Project - http://www.desertrockenergy.com
Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment - http://dinecare.indigenousnative.org

Related Stories:
Letter: Power plant on sacred Navajo Nation land (3/19)
Navajo Nation debates power plant in New Mexico (2/20)
Letter: Hold Navajo Nation accountable for impacts (2/6)
Tax breaks for Navajo power plant tabled for now (1/30)
Navajos protest power plant at inauguration (1/16)
Navajo president meets with power plant protesters (12/19)
Navajo vice president meets with protesters (12/15)
Navajo protesters block work at power plant site (12/14)
Navajo Nation to own 25 percent of power plant (12/11)
EPA extends comment period on Navajo power plant (10/31)
Navajos criticize tribe's proposed power plant (10/06)
EPA takes comments on Navajo Nation power plant (10/3)
Editorial: Public comment on Navajo power plant (09/21)
Commentary: Environmental justice for Navajos (07/26)
Navajos worried about power plant emissions (7/25)
EPA sets high standards for Navajo power plant (7/21)
Photos show Navajo opposition to power plant (7/19)
Navajo Nation power plant reduces emissions (05/19)
Navajo Nation Council OKs power plant lease (5/15)
Dine group seeks to stop power plant on Navajo Nation (06/16)
BIA holds hearings on reservation power plant (03/29)
EPA seeks to reduce mercury from power plants (03/16)
EPA to issue new rule on mercury emissions (3/15)
EPA proposes rule to curb power-plant emissions (3/11)
Senate committee deadlocks on 'Clear Skies' bill (3/10)
Report faults EPA for mercury rule favoring industry (3/8)
Bush nominates career scientist as head of EPA (3/7)
Report: EPA's mercury proposal biased towards industry (02/04)
EPA to delay regulations on mercury emissions (04/30)
EPA drafts new rules to reduce air pollution (12/05)
Bush administration proposes to ease mercury rules (12/3)
Tribes mull toxic fish study findings (8/1)
Toxic fish threaten tribal subsistence (7/31)