The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final regional haze rule under the Clean Air Act which provides for an emission-reduction plan for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Page, Ariz.

The final rule incorporates major elements of the proposal by the Technical Work Group (TWG) which had recommended alternatives for the plant with greater emissions reductions than the EPA’s ‘Best Available Retrofit Technology’ (BART) proposal.

NGS, a coal-fired generating station, serves electric customers in Arizona, Nevada, and California. The station also supplies the energy to pump water through the Central Arizona Project to cities, towns, and farms in central and southern Arizona.

NGS production capacity is 2,250 megawatts from three 750-MW units.

While the rule is lengthy and will require a detailed review, TWG members expressed appreciation that the EPA’s final rule reflects the TWG’s “better-than-BART” recommendations. 

The TWG consists of representatives from the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Gila River Indian Community, the Navajo Nation, Salt River Project (on behalf of itself and the other NGS owners), U.S. Department of the Interior, and Western Resource Advocates.

“We applaud the decision by the EPA to pattern this BART rule after the TWG proposal,” said Central Arizona Project (CAP) Board President Pamela Pickard. 

“CAP is the primary water provider for the region where the majority of Arizona’s population lives,” Pickard said.

“NGS provides more than 90 percent of CAP’s energy.  The BART rule provides certainty that NGS will continue to provide that power for decades,” Pickard said.

The EPA conducted several public comment sessions throughout Arizona on EPA’s initial BART proposal, as well as the TWG alternative, and reviewed 77,000 written comments in reaching its final decision.

The NGS plant is operated by Salt River Project. Other NGS participants include the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Public Service Company, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Tucson Electric Power Company, and NV Energy.