Environmental Groups Call for Clean Up of Grand Canyon National Park
May 11, 2009
On May 5, 2009, a group of tribal and conservation organizations, including Sierra Club, took action to protect Grand Canyon National Park and local communities from dangerous air pollutants. The groups petitioned the National Park Service to declare that the air pollution from the existing coal-fired Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, is creating haze in the park, which reduces visibility and threatens the health of residents, park visitors, and wildlife.
The Navajo Generating Station, which is located less than 12 miles from Grand Canyon National Park, is the eighth-largest coal-fired power plant in the nation, and has been emitting damaging levels of haze-causing pollutants for more than 30 years. The Department of the Interior found that sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant were contributing to haze in the park back in 1986, and required the plant to install sulfur scrubbers. Unfortunately, scrubbers alone have not been sufficient to prevent air pollution caused by other emissions, such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxide, and the problem still persists today. A formal declaration from the National Park Service that the plant’s emissions are impairing the park’s air quality would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to order the plant to install updated technology to significantly reduce its emissions.
The groups’ petition follows a call last week from the EPA for a review of the permit for Desert Rock, a proposed coal-fired power plant in New Mexico that, if built, would pollute 27 national parks in the region, including the Grand Canyon.
Details and Documents:
Conservation and Tribal Groups Seek Action on Coal Plant Pollution
National Parks Conservation Association Press Release, May 5, 2009
Coalition: Plant's pollution mars Canyon views
May 8, 2009, by Shaun McKinnon, The Arizona Republic
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.