|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||July 26, 2013|
|Contact:||Kevin Dahl, Arizona Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, (O) 520-624-2014, (C) 520-603-6430, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Proposal for Navajo Generating Station is a Positive First Step
Adjustments needed to accelerate air quality improvements for national parks
TUCSON, ARIZ — The proposal developed by the owners of Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and associated stakeholders offers a pathway to begin transition from highly-polluting coal to renewable sources of energy. It is an important first step in solving complex issues ranging from park air quality to climate change, but more robust measures are needed to assure adequate improvement in air quality at the Grand Canyon and other national parks that have been polluted for decades by NGS smokestacks.
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) strongly supports an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to significantly cut emissions of nitrogen oxides that obscure the views at the Grand Canyon and other southwestern national parks. The alternative proposal, which was developed by Department of Interior, Salt River Project and others, would likely delay air quality improvements required under EPA’s plan by 7 or more years.
“Navajo Generating Station is one of the nation’s biggest polluters of national parks – its smokestacks have fouled the air at Grand Canyon and throughout the southwest for generations,” said NPCA’s Arizona Program Manager Kevin Dahl. “It’s well past time for this antiquated coal plant to switch to clean and renewable energy that is widely available today.”
NPCA does not endorse the agreement at this time because the alternatives allowed under it would not improve air quality rapidly or with as much assurance as would the EPA plan.
“We praise the collaborative effort that went into the proposal, especially the innovative work of the Department of Interior, in suggesting ways that energy sources such as solar and wind could start to replace the power used by the Central Arizona Power,” said Dahl. “We stand ready to work with the stakeholders to refine some of the plan’s deficiencies, and its unfortunate ‘escape ramps’ that result in more years of dirty air at the Grand Canyon and the other 11 national parks and wilderness areas in the region,” Dahl added. “Nevertheless, this is a great start for a discussion with the larger community of interested parties, including Navajo and Hopi residents who have suffered for decades from the operation of this polluting plant and the coal mine that feeds it.”