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Cleaning Up Coal On The Moapa Reservation

The Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant is located just a couple hundred yards from the homes of Moapa Paiute families.

The Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant is located just a couple hundred yards from the homes of Moapa Paiute families.

Photo by Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

What's at Stake

Under pressure from Earthjustice, the Reid Gardner coal plant, near the Moapa River Reservation in Nevada, shut down in 2013. It was too old and obsolete to clean up its act – a situation faced by old coal plants across the nation as they fight to keep their facilities dirty and open.

Case Overview

The Reid Gardner coal plant looms over homes on the Moapa River Reservation. A dangerous mixture of pollutants descends from the plant’s towering smokestacks, including soot, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the precursors of smog. Air pollution from the facility obscures the stunning vistas in national parks like Zion and the Grand Canyon with a blanket of haze and threatens the Moapa Paiute community with respiratory damage, heart attacks and premature death.

Earthjustice is representing the Moapa Band of Paiutes to protect national parks in the southwest U.S. from the dangerous air pollution generated by the coal plant. In litigation, Earthjustice and our clients are arguing that the plant must install up-to-date pollution control technology that will slash emissions of nitrogen oxides by 90 percent, improving local public health and reducing the haze that settles in the region’s iconic national parks. After we brought suit, the owners of Reid Gardner opted to shut down the entire plant.

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Wake and Smile, the Nightmare is Over

In a vote last night, the Nevada Assembly approved SB123, a landmark bill that shifts the state away from coal-fired power. The bill closes Reid Gardner, directs NV Energy to eliminate 800 megawatts of coal-fired power generation from its portfolio, and mandates 350 megawatts of renewable energy development.

An Ill Wind: Trailer

Watch the introduction to the 4-part video series on the Moapa River Indian Reservation and their fight against the devastating effects of coal ash pollution.

Case Updates

October 26, 2012 | In the News: msnbc

Tribe near Vegas appealing EPA coal plant air rule

The Moapa Band of Paiutes and environmental allies filed suit in federal court over the issue of air pollutants from the Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant located just a couple hundred yards from the homes of Moapa Paiute families.

"Cleanup of this old, dirty power plant is long overdue," said Suma Peesapati, the Earthjustice attorney handling the case. "What the EPA has proposed does not protect the neighboring community of the Moapa Paiutes or the iconic beauty of the Grand Canyon."