EPA Announces Emission Cuts for Navajo Generating Station

Jul 28, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new rules designed to reduce pollution at the Navajo Generating Station near Page. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the regulations are an attempt to enforce the federal Clean Air Act.

The Navajo Generating Station near Page on the Navajo Nation and is owned by the federal government's Bureau of Reclamation, as well as regional utilities like the Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service Co., Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Tucson Electric Power Co., and NV Energy.
Credit usu.edu

The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station is one of the biggest sources of nitrogen oxides in the country. The compounds emitted by the 40-year-old power plant are harmful to human health and decrease visibility at Southwestern national parks and wilderness areas.

According to the EPA, the new regulations will curb the release of nitrogen oxides by 80 percent at the plant. But several tribal and environmental groups are protesting the new rules. They claim the EPA’s emissions cuts don’t fulfill those mandated by the federal Clean Air Act, and will allow the power plant to remain open for decades.

The EPA’s new regulations come after five years of negotiations between the federal government, Native American tribes and environmental groups. The emissions cuts will be fully implemented by 2030.