FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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Today, Central Arizona Project (CAP) received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed federal implementation plan for installing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission controls for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) located near Page, AZ. CAP is encouraged by the EPA’s recognition of the significant impacts this ruling has on CAP and its customers, Arizona Native American tribes that have settlement agreements which include substantial amounts of CAP’s Colorado River allocation and the financial impacts to the Navajo and Hopi tribes.
“We remain concerned,” stated CAP General Manager David Modeer, “that the EPA’s proposed regulatory solution does not address the full economic impacts to CAP and its customers of the rule as it stands. The cost of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) installation could be up to $1.1 billion if additional particulate controls are required. We also believe that the EPA has no conclusive evidence that these proposed controls will have any perceptible impact on visibility in the Grand Canyon area, as referenced in a 2012 Department of Energy study."
“However,” Modeer said, “the fact that EPA has at least considered the economic impacts in their proposed implementation plan provides a measure of hope that they will further consider the cost impacts during the public comment period.”
“NGS provides more than 90% of CAP’s power in a reliable and economical manner,” Modeer continued. “It is our belief that EPA should continue to work with the owners, tribes, CAP and other stakeholders to determine the most economical and timely regulatory solutions for emissions at NGS. This would allow for economic impacts to potentially be lowered and provide time to resolve the current uncertainties with the life extension of NGS. These uncertainties are substantial and include, but are not limited to the extension of lease agreements and other agreements with the Navajo nation, extension of fuel contracts and water supply.”
The time-frame included in the proposed rule is important because a National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process must be completed and approved by the Secretary of the Interior. This is most probably a five-year or longer process. We remain hopeful that the NEPA process can be completed before significant financial investment must be made to comply with the proposed emission rule time-frame.
“CAP will continue to participate in this process,” Modeer confirmed, “with our efforts focused on gaining an extension for compliance to a time-frame that allows resolution of all uncertainties and provides the greatest opportunity for economically meeting EPA’s emission standard rule. Accomplishing this, and also working with the EPA, the Departments of Interior and Energy under the terms of their January 4, 2013 Joint Federal Agency Statement Regarding NGS, will provide the best prospects for the continued long-term operation of the generating station.”
"We look forward to working cooperatively and collaboratively with the regulatory community, our state and Congressional leadership and our other partners to find effective and cost-efficient solutions to the complex challenges presented by the proposed rule," concluded CAP Board President Pamela Pickard.