(Las Vegas, NV) — Residents from the Moapa Indian Reservation are alleging NV Energy sent falsified air pollution reports to state regulators from its Reid Gardner Generating Station.
The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians released documents Wednesday stating the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection threw out at least five years of monitoring data for the plant after an investigation determined that the information may have been faked by a contractor hired by the utility to monitor for dust pollution around the plant.
NV Energy provided KXNT a statement that Reid Gardner Generating Station continues to meet federal clean air and water standards:
In the summer of 2011, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) discovered irregularities in a report filed by a third-party vendor regarding certain ambient air quality data at the Reid Gardner facility. As soon as those irregularities came to our attention, NV Energy launched a joint investigation with NDEP regarding the vendor. It is essential to note that the data in question is utilized for air shed modeling and is not relied upon for compliance purposes. When reporting irregularities were confirmed, NV Energy immediately terminated its relationship with that vendor. As a result of the findings, the NDEP, per its common practice, issued a Notice of Alleged Violation in the form of a warning letter to NV Energy, concluding that the incident was based largely on human error by the vendor in question. The Reid Gardner Station has continuous emissions monitoring in place for all regulated air pollutants, and has been and remains in substantial compliance with all regulatory requirements. Any reports that NV Energy falsified any documents or reports are patently false.
The Sierra Club is a leading environmental group and contends that burning coal has had an effect on the tribal residents.
“The human impact that the tribe has felt is so compelling and you can see the true cost of coal when you visit the reservation and hear their stories of health and different ailments they have felt,” says Sierra Club spokesman Elspeth Dimarzio.