Forum topic

Target: Reid Gardner

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 ( 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.


Additional Information & Resources:
F29 in Las Vegas / Event Page
ALEC/NVEnergy Research
Reid Gardner Plant Research
Moapa Paiutes Website
PEER Research on Coal Ash
Environmental Integrity Project Reports

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

admin's picture
admin on 2012-02-3

The Reid Gardner Station is a coal-fired power station located less than 50 miles NE of Nellis Air Force Base, just SW of Moapa Town.

Reid Gardener Generating Station
1 Wally Kay Way
Moapa, NV 89025
Clark County
GPS Coordinates: 36°, 39’13”, N 114° 38’27” W

Table of contents:
    1 Plant Data
    2 Emissions Data
        2.1 2002
        2.2 2005
        2.3 2006
    3 Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Reid Gardner Station
        3.1 Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from 
            Reid Gardner Station
    4 Toxic Waste Data
        4.1 Drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium from coal may cause cancer
        4.2 Reid Gardner coal-ash landfill expansion moves forward
    5 Litigation and Controversy
    6 Nevada PUC orders units 1-3 retirement for 2020
    7 Articles and Resources
        7.1 Sources
        7.2 Related SourceWatch Articles
        7.3 External Articles

Read More:

Peace's picture
Peace on 2012-02-3

Seems to me they are proceeding because they expect Republicans to win and remove the regulations that they didn't want to abide by.

Another corporate win is in the wind!

greenguy's picture
greenguy on 2012-02-8

I am in talks with the Sierra Club of Southern Nevada regarding this issue and will try to keep everyone updated on their stance with it. My hope is that we can work together for this project and really show NV Energy the power of people.

admin's picture
admin on 2012-02-10

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

By Mara Hvistendahl | December 13, 2007

The popular conception of nuclear power is straight out of The Simpsons: Springfield abounds with signs of radioactivity, from the strange glow surrounding Mr. Burn's nuclear power plant workers to Homer's low sperm count. Then there's the local superhero, Radioactive Man, who fires beams of "nuclear heat" from his eyes. Nuclear power, many people think, is inseparable from a volatile, invariably lime-green, mutant-making radioactivity.

Coal, meanwhile, is believed responsible for a host of more quotidian problems, such as mining accidents, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions. But it isn't supposed to spawn three-eyed fish like Blinky.

Over the past few decades, however, a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy. * [See Editor's Note at end of page 2]

At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.

[full article]

Rev. Gail C-R's picture
Rev. Gail C-R on 2012-02-10

I recently signed a Sierra Club petition on this problem. Perhaps this might become the issue we focus on for our local Eco-Occupy action on March 23 or 24, or Earth Day....what do you think?

admin's picture
admin on 2012-02-10

L.A.'s Dirty Coal Addiction

By Joshua Frank | Alternet | December 29, 2011

...Like the Navajo power plant, the majority of Reid Gardner's electrical output ends up in California, while the immediate environmental and health impacts occur locally. In a report published by Earthjustice and Sierra Club in 2011, Reid Gardner was cited as having high levels of chromium seeping into local groundwater supplies. Chromium, made infamous by Erin Brockovich's fight with Pacific Gas & Electric, is nasty stuff for humans when it makes its way into drinking water.

"My neighbors and I feel coal pollution up close. Our children and elders suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments, and that makes the issue immediate and personal," explains William Anderson, chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, a tribe that lives right under Reid Gardner's smokestacks.

"Our children are losing more than their health because of the power plants; they're losing their culture, too. We used to hunt ducks and geese on our land--but no longer. The birds land in the coal wastewater ponds. We used to harvest medicinal plants, but not anymore. The plants have been contaminated over the years by the plant's coal ash dust, soot and other pollutants," adds Anderson. "Air quality and public-health safeguards should not depend on political winds driven by those who never have to inhale the pollution they authorize."

The Moapa people Anderson represents and many Navajo agree: Californians, especially those living in LA, should demand clean energy production that not only creates jobs for native people, but also improves their health by forcing these dirty plants to shutter their doors as soon as possible.

[full article]

admin's picture
admin on 2012-02-12

The Moapa River Indian Reservation, in the right foreground. The Reid Gardner Power Station can be seen on the left side of the photo, partially obscured by a cloud of coal ash. (Photo by Moapa Band of Paiutes)

"An Ill Wind Blows" Website (Earthjustice)

admin's picture
admin on 2012-02-13

Paiute Tribe Partners With Environmentalists to Close Power Plant

Posted: Feb 10, 2012 12:36 PM PST Updated: Feb 11, 2012 9:21 AM PST
By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter
By Matt Adams, Chief Photojournalist

greenguy's picture
greenguy on 2012-02-14

I wonder if Californians know that some of the energy they get is coming from a highly pollutive coal plant here in Nevada that is killing Native Americans in a genicidal fashion?

I mean, I used to live in Cali and people talked about how progressive they were - I'm almost SURE that if they knew about this they'd want to put a stop to it...

greenguy's picture
greenguy on 2012-02-14

Also, some facts from the Sierra Club about the plant for you:


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