Suit filed over Reid Gardner coal plant in Nevada

An Indian tribe and several environmental groups have filed suit in federal appeals court against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding EPA’s decision earlier this year not to require selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems at NV Energy’s (NYSE: NVE) Reid Gardner coal plant in Nevada.

The lawsuit is being filed in 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals by Earthjustice on behalf of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, Sierra Club, and National Parks Conservation Association.

It appeals an EPA decision earlier this year that allowed ongoing high rates of nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution at Reid Gardner rather than requiring upgrades to the best available controls—namely SCRs —that can reduce nitrogen oxide pollution by 90%, Earthjustice said in a news release.

EPA approved in part Nevada’s selection of a NOx emission limit for the coal-fired power plant in August.

EPA has approved Nevada’s selection of a NOx limit of 0.20 lb/MMBtu as Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for the Reid Gardner Generating Station (RGGS) at Units 1 and 2. EPA has disapproved two provisions of Nevada’s BART determination for NOx at the station, which are the emissions limit for Unit 3 and the compliance method for all three units.

The Moapa Paiutes and their environmental allies have maintained that retirement and transition to cleaner sources is the wise path for Reid Gardner given its old age and high costs.

However, until that day comes the groups say the plant has to be required to update with the best air pollution equipment available—not the “inferior measures” currently required by EPA—given the heavy impact the plant’s pollution has on the health of Moapa Paiute families and on smog haze at nearby national parks such as Zion and Grand Canyon, Earthjustice said.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has called for retirement of the Reid Gardner coal plant, the groups noted. The petition for review was filed with the court Oct. 19.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.