Feds to clean up Navajo coal plant

THREE federal agencies have aligned to curb the environmental impact of the massive coal-fired Navajo Generating Station, just 15 miles from the Grand Canyon.
Feds to clean up Navajo coal plant Feds to clean up Navajo coal plant Feds to clean up Navajo coal plant Feds to clean up Navajo coal plant Feds to clean up Navajo coal plant

The Navajo Generating Station. Photo courtesy NGS

Justin Niessner

A join statement from the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency established a set of goals to reduce pollution and minimize negative community effects.

The 2250-megawatt NGS is the largest coal plant in the western US and among the worst air polluters in the country.

The facility is one of the largest sources of nitrogen dioxide and produces 19 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, affecting visibility in 11nearby national parks and wilderness areas.

NGS is on the Navajo Indian reservation and provides power and economic development for the state of Arizona, the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, the Gila River Indian community and numerous other tribal and non-tribal dependents.

The federal government said it intends to ensure that the critical roles that NGS currently plays are maintained as steps are taken to lower emissions and protect the treasured landscapes of the region.

To achieve this, the DOI, DOE and EPA will for a collaborative working group with NGS to collect information necessary to outline a “roadmap” of initial steps and recommendations for action.

A report on providing clean, affordable and sustainable energy options at NGS will be completed and support for short-term investment will addressed with stakeholders through the jointly operating agencies.

NGS consumes 8Mt of coal per year from Peabody Energy’s Kayenta mine

Kayenta employs more than 435 workers, with Native Americans comprising more than 95% of the workforce.

The mine operates through lease agreements with the Navajo and the Hopi.

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