40 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the Moapa River Indian Reservation is the tribal home of the Moapa Band of Paiutes. Their town sits about 300 yards from the unlined ash ponds and landfills of NVEnergy’s Reid Gardner Power Station. Reid Gardner is a 47-year-old coal-fired plant that we do not need. Most of the energy generated is sold to California, and California has decided to stop buying it next year.
In Moapa Town, signs on the road and pamphlets in the community center advise readers to “Report Bad Air.” That’s because when the wind comes in from the south, vast clouds of coal ash from Reid Gardner drift over the town like a toxic sandstorm. Everyone on that side of town has asthma and uses an inhaler. On average, 4 people on the reservation die each year from causes that can be attributed directly to coal ash exposure.
It’s also in the groundwater.
In February 2010, the Environmental Integrity Project and EarthJustice released a report that added at least 31 "new damage cases" to the EPA’s list of the worst coal-ash pollution sites – sites that were leaching large amounts of toxins into streams and drinking water. Reid Gardner was one of those sites. In 1995, the "Uniform State Environmental Audit Privilege Act" was drafted by ALEC (www.alecexposed.org) to protect polluting corporations from civil and criminal liability, by making a company’s internal audit or assessments of its pollution "privileged" and thus inadmissible in legal proceedings. The goals of this ALEC model bill were incorporated into Nevada Statute 445C in 1998. Now if they admit their pollution privately to the EPA, it’s harder to sue them for the damage it causes.
TOXIC FACT: Offsite arsenic levels in ash-contaminated groundwater from the Reid Gardner plant have been measured at 31 times the EPA drinking water standard (10 mcg/liter).
TOXIC FACT: In 2011 EarthJustice and the Sierra Club found many health threats associated with a cancer-causing chemical in coal ash waste: hexavalent chromium. Reid Gardner was specifically reported as having high levels of chromium seeping into the local groundwater.
TOXIC FACT: In 2007, Scientific American found that "waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts".
People are getting sick. People are dying. And with the help of ALEC, NV Energy is blocking every attempt to reclassify this toxic material. Their executives and investors would prefer to add toxic coal ash to cement and sell it back to you. In their mindless and heartless pursuit of ever-increasing profits, NVEnergy has shown where they really stand: Against human needs, and without human compassion.
We are non-violent. But we are NOT Powerless.
We intend to shut this plant down. Join Us.
SHUT OFF YOUR POWER ON SATURDAYS.
AS LONG AS YOU CAN, FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES.
JOIN THE EARTH ACTIONS GROUP TO GET INVOLVED!
Reid Gardner coal-ash landfill expansion moves forward
NV Energy has moved a step closer toward expanding its controversial landfill for toxic coal-ash waste at its power plant near Moapa, Nevada. Southern Nevada Health District's board directed its staff to proceed with finalizing conditions for a permit it approved in October 2011 to expand the Reid Gardner Station's landfill, paving the way for 35 more years of operating the coal-fired plant. The Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Sierra Club opposed the expansion, noting that it would likely lead to an increase in local water contamination.
- October 2011