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Know the West

The Latest: EPA cuts pollution at the Navajo Generating Station


Bad air from coal-fired power plants not only causes health problems for the locals; it also ruins the scenery.  In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency began addressing the visual impacts of air pollution from power plants, developing plans to reduce haze around national parks and wilderness areas. ("Clean air regulations protect views by targeting coal plants," HCN, 11/14/11).

On July 28, the EPA finalized a plan to cut pollution from the Navajo Generating Station, which is located on the Navajo Nation in Arizona near the Grand Canyon. The plant emits more "visibility-impairing" nitrogen oxide than almost any other in the country, second only to the other plant on the reservation, Four Corners in New Mexico. In 2012, the EPA gave Four Corners a 2018 deadline to reduce haze. The Navajo Generating Station has until 2030, when the EPA foresees 75 percent less haze blighting 11 nearby national parks and wilderness areas.