"Cleaning Dirty Air Risks Costlier Arizona Water"

"The Navajo Generating Station, the huge coal-fired power plant outside Page, supplies a fraction of Arizona's electricity demand, but its role in moving water to the state's largest cities has thrust it into a growing battle over the cost of cleaning up air pollution.

In the two months since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules that would require costly new air-scrubbing equipment at the plant, the debate has escalated into a war of increasingly dire predictions: Tribal economies could collapse. The plant itself could close. The price of water sold to Phoenix and Tucson could quadruple.

Environmental groups have targeted Navajo and the nearby Four Corners Power Plant for years because of the emissions-related haze that builds up over the Grand Canyon and other fragile landscapes. The EPA ranks Navajo as the nation's third-largest emitter of nitrogen oxides, pollutants created when coal is burned. Four Corners is the second-largest."

Shaun McKinnon reports to The Arizona Republic November 1, 2009.

Monday, November 2, 2009