A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Phase One of Navajo Generating Station Options Study Released
Report Examines Impacts and Alternatives for Coal-Fired Power Plant's Compliance with Upcoming Regional Haze Standard
WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced the availability of a report by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and the possible impacts of new emission standards for the control of regional haze. DOI commissioned the study and will provide it to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which anticipates issuing a proposed rule for the 2,250-megawatt coal-fired power plant in late spring or early summer of 2012.
NREL's report on the first phase of the study is now available at http://www.doi.gov/navajo-gss. Standards for submitting comments to accompany the report by the Feb. 6 deadline are also available at the website.
The report stems from a DOI agreement with NREL to conduct a comprehensive study investigating the many unique, interrelated and complex economic, social and environmental issues affecting the NGS and the addition of emission control technologies at the facility to improve visibility in nearby National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Under the Federal Clean Air Act Regional Haze Rule administered by the EPA, the NGS must be retrofitted with Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) air emission control equipment to accomplish this goal. The EPA has agreed to consider the NREL report in developing its BART rule for the NGS, located on the Navajo reservation near Page, Ariz.
NREL conducted public workshops in Phoenix, Ariz., and met individually with a wide variety of stakeholders, tribes and interested parties to gather information for the Phase 1 report. A Phase 2 study is planned to evaluate energy generation alternatives in detail to determine options that merit serious consideration. Although scoping for the second phase has not been conducted, it will likely include conducting detailed technical, economic, environmental, social, regulatory, and policy analyses to thoroughly evaluate the impacts of each generation alternative that passed the analytical screening in Phase 1.
The NGS is owned by numerous entities and serves electric customers in Arizona, Nevada and California and supplies energy to pump water through the Central Arizona Project (CAP). Relying on coal from the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe, NGS is operated by the Salt River Project. DOI's Bureau of Reclamation is the largest owner of the NGS facility, which began construction in 1969 and first began producing electricity in 1974.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.