Editorial: EPA dragging feet on Navajo power plant

" Tired of playing the waiting game, Desert Rock Energy Company and the Navajo Nation's Diné Power Authority filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week, citing the EPA's lack of action in granting a crucial air permit to operate the proposed coal-fired power plant. The Diné Power Authority and Houston-based Sithe Global Power applied for the air permit in early 2004 and argue that the EPA had one year to make a determination and issue a decision under federal law. Today it's more than four years later, and there still is no decision.

In turn, the $3 billion, 1,500-megawatt Desert Rock plant, which would be built near Burnham on the Navajo Nation, has yet to break ground.

We certainly can see the aggravation of Desert Rock supporters, who have waited for years to get an answer on this vital air permit. It's further frustrating when the EPA is not willing to give any indication about when it might act officially on the permit application. This year? Next year? The federal agency isn't saying.

If the EPA doesn't want to rule on the coal-fired plant because of environmental concerns, it should say so. The EPA has used the "massive comments" defense for months. Surely it knows, within reason, how long it will take to respond to those comments.

Yes, any federal permitting of a coal-fired power plant is no doubt an immense project that takes plenty of time. But why have deadlines if they are not followed?"

Get the Story:
Editorial: Desert Rock air permit going nowhere fast (The Farmington Daily Times 3/24)

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

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