FLAGSTAFF – A group of conservationists says pollution from a coal-fired power plant is clouding views of the Grand Canyon, and they want the federal government to do something about it.
A petition filed by the conservationists Tuesday asks the National Park Service to declare that particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions from the Navajo Generating Station near Page are harming air quality.
The group said the declaration could trigger a reduction in emissions at the plant, improve visibility and safeguard the public’s health.
The plant is operated by the Salt River Project, which supplies water and power to the Phoenix area. Kevin Wanttaja, manager of environmental services for SRP, said the agency has submitted a plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 40 percent. No cuts in particulate matter are planned.
Roger Clark of the Grand Canyon Trust, which is among the petitioners, commended SRP for volunteering to retrofit its three units at the plant with nitrogen oxide controls by 2011. But he said it’s not enough. The best available control technology would cut such emissions by 80 percent to 90 percent, he said.