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

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