|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||September 26, 2013|
|Contact:||Kevin Dahl, Arizona Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, (O) 520-624-2014, (C) 520-603-6430, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-419-3717, email@example.com
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 EPA must require more robust and certain measures to improve 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 the original 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 and accepted for review by the EPA yesterday, would likely delay air quality improvements required under EPA’s plan by 11 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 alternative proposal because it would not improve air quality rapidly or with as much assurance as would the original EPA plan.
“We praise the collaborative effort that went into the alternative 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.”