Home  »  US News  »  EPA-Proposed Changes To Cost Suffering Navajo Nation Grand Canyon Coal Plant $500 Million

Jan 20, 2013 Comments Off Spit Stixx

Federal regulators propose ‘cleaning up’ the Grand Canyon’s air by requiring a half-billion-dollar catalytic converter at a coal-fired power plant that touches the lives and wallets of most Arizonans.

Excerpted from The Daily Caller: The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to cut Grand Canyon air pollution by requiring a coal power plant in Arizona to install pollution control equipment that could cost more than $1 billion, reports the Arizona Republic.

Federal regulators want the plant to install a catalytic converter for approximately $500 million. However, particles from the catalytic converter could create further pollution problems and necessitate more pollution controls, which the Salt River Project, the coal plant’s operator, said could drive the total cost into the billions.

Eighty-five percent of the 520 employees at the Navajo Generating Station are Navajos. The Navajo Indian Reservation, where the plant is located, suffers from high unemployment.

“These are valuable jobs,” Navajo Nation spokesman Erny Zah told the Arizona Republic. “We’re disappointed.”

The coal plant has until 2023 to install the new pollution controls, according to the EPA, because the agency said it recognizes both the importance of the plant to the Native American tribes in the area and the benefit of the plant’s previously installed pollution controls.

The EPA believes that the catalytic converter, combined with previously installed pollution control equipment, would reduce emissions by 84 percent by 2018.

“By reducing emissions 84%, we will be able to breathe cleaner, healthier air and preserve the visibility essential to the economic vitality of the region,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The millions of tourists who visit national parks in Arizona and Utah every year will now be able see vistas once marred by pollution.”

Environmentalists had mixed feelings about the EPA’s proposal, while congressional Republicans called the proposal another step in the Obama administration’s war on coal.

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