A Southern Nevada power plant is facing legal pressure from a local Native American tribe and a pair of national environmental groups to improve its pollution controls beyond federally mandated standards. However, the plant says that its controls are already 99 percent effective and its management is questioning claims by tribal members that they are getting sick from the plant’s emissions.
Besides a petition filed with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, the Moapa Band of Paiutes, the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association have filed a lawsuit against NV Energy, the owner of the Reid Gardner coal power plant, in federal court. The suit asks the court to compel NV Energy to install the best emission controls available at the plant, which is located near the Moapa River Indian Reservation.
The lawsuit claims that the plant is a few hundred feet from some homes on the reservation and that residents have become sickened by emissions such as soot, ash and chemicals coming from the plant. The chairman of the Moapa band said in a statement that the band and the Sierra Club believe the plant is old and needs to transition to cleaner sources of energy.
NV Energy says that it already captures 99 percent of particulate waste matter. It suggested that the plaintiffs were exaggerating or lying about people becoming ill on the reservation, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The plant is in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards for emission control, but the lawsuit calls those standards “inferior.”
Source: Las Vegas Sun, “Lawsuit seeks more pollution controls at coal power plant,” Cy Ryan, Oct. 22, 2012
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