Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 | 10:20 a.m.
CARSON CITY — An Indian tribe and environmentalists have filed a lawsuit to force improved pollution controls at the Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant in Southern Nevada on grounds the facility poses a health hazard.
The groups earlier petitioned the state Public Utilities Commission to require NV Energy to shut down the plant next year. The commission has not yet ruled on the petition.
The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, says the plant is a few hundred yards from homes of members of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, causing residents to become ill from the coal plant soot, chemicals and ash waste.
The suit was filed by the Paiute band, the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association.
The utility maintains that 99 percent of particulate matter coming from the plant is captured and questions the health claims.
The suit says the court should require the best air pollution equipment be installed at the plant, “not the inferior measures currently required by EPA.”
The advanced-technology pollution-control equipment is used at more than 200 coal-fired plants around the county.
“The Moapa Paiutes and Sierra Club have maintained that retirement and transition to cleaner sources is the wise path for Reid Gardner given its old age and high costs,” said William Anderson, chairman of the tribe.