5 September 2006 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed clean air plans that regulate emissions for the Four Corners Power Plant in Farmington, New Mexico and the Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, both located on the Navajo Nation.
The plans include federal emission limits for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, total particulate matter, opacity and dust control requirements. The 3-unit 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station, which began operating in 1974, has obtained significant sulfur dioxide reductions through an existing visibility plan that required phased installation of pollution control equipment in 1997, 1998, and 1999. The plan announced recently proposes a more stringent opacity requirement of 20 percent for the plant.
The plan also proposes significant sulfur dioxide reductions from its historic highs at the 5-unit 2,040 MW Four Corners plant, which began operations in 1962. The reductions are the result of a partnership between the Navajo Nation, the Arizona Public Service, the National Park Service, Environmental Defense, the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, New Mexico Citizens for Clean Air and Water and the EPA.
The EPA proposed a federal plan for Four Corners in 1999, but held off on finalizing the plan until negotiations on sulfur dioxide reductions for Four Corners were complete. Negotiations and the testing period have concluded, and the EPA is currently proposing a new federal plan that includes the sulfur dioxide reductions.
However, as a result of the delay, the Sierra Club filed a complaint July 26 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico requiring the EPA to take final action on its 1999 proposed federal plan. The EPA has 60 days from the filing date to respond.