"A Black Community In Arizona Battles Power Expansion Plans Again"

"Residents in industry-choked Randolph renew efforts to block the power company’s plans near their fragile town"

"A handful of weary residents gathered at the windowless Randolph church to mull over the latest effort by an electric utility to expand its power station – a polluting gas-fired plant next door to the community that the state regulator has blocked on environmental and health grounds.

Randolph is a historic Black community in central Arizona flanked by railroads and heavy hazardous industries, a small dusty place where residents are exposed to some of the worst air quality in the state while lacking basic amenities like fire hydrants, trash collection and healthcare.

Last year, the community celebrated a historic win when the state regulator rejected a proposal by the public utility Salt River Project (SRP) to more than double the size of its power plant, ruling that it would cause further harm to Randolph residents and was not in the public interest.

It was major victory for clean energy and environmental justice in Arizona, according to the Sierra Club, the environmental group which condemned the proposed expansion as “textbook environmental racism”."

Nina Lakhani reports for the Guardian March 20, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 03/21/2023