Thursday Hearing Will Be EPA’s First-Ever at Location Most Impacted by Plant’s Air Emissions
On Thursday, May 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing on the Moapa Band of Paiutes Reservation to take public comment on concerns over health-threatening air pollution from the Reid Gardner coal plant, owned by NV Energy. The plant is located within a few hundred yards of homes on the Moapa Reservation.
On Apr. 22, the EPA proposed a substandard plan to reduce dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions from Reid Gardner, requiring only minimum pollution control retrofits to the nearly 50-year-old plant. That proposal was criticized by the Paiutes and supporters including Sierra Club, who say it is insufficient to stem air pollution that harms the tribe’s health and is an example of environmental injustice.
Reid Gardner’s more than 4,000 tons of nitrogen oxide pollution each year combine with other compounds to form dangerous smog (ground-level ozone) and soot (fine particle pollution), which worsen asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, allergies, sinus problems, ear infections, thyroid disease and heart disease -- and result in about $28 million in
yearly public health costs, according to the Clean Air Task Force.
Reid Gardner’s nitrogen oxide emissions also add to smog haze at Grand Canyon and Zion national parks.
The EPA hearing this Thursday comes on the heels of the Paiute’s recent 50-mile “Power Without Pollution” Cultural Healing Walk from their reservation near Moapa to Las Vegas, culminating in a massive Earth Day rally.
The Moapa Paiutes and the Sierra Club are demanding that EPA ensure the best available pollution controls, called selective catalytic reduction, are required for Reid Gardner as long as it is in operation. Selective catalytic reduction controls are in use on more than 200 coal plant units around the country and can cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent.
The public hearing will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm with an open house meeting beforehand from 11:30 am-12:30 pm at the Moapa Reservation Tribal Building, 1 Lincoln Street, Moapa, NV.
The EPA will hold another public hearing on its Reid Gardner air pollution control proposal on May 3 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Moapa Valley Empowerment High School, 2400 Joseph Street, in Overton with an open house from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.