Moapa Tribe’s 60
-Day Notice of Air Permit Violations at RGGSMarch 19, 2013Page
Reservation encompasses approximately 73,061 acres of land in Clark County, Nevada, and isapproximately 45 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Air quality on the Moapa Reservation is significantly impacted by air pollutants emitted byRGGS,
a 4 unit, 550 net MW coal-fired power plant
located approximately 1 mile from the main population center on the Reservation. RGGS is owned and operated by Permittee and is primarily
regulated by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (“NDEP”). T
he main air pollutioncontrol requirements applicable to
RGGS are described in the “Class I Air Quality Operating Permit”
that NDEP issued to Permittee
in April 2004 (“RGGS Permit”).
As described below in more detail, the Tribe has obtained information indicating thatPermittee routinely violates the terms of the RGGS Permit. Specifically, Permittee appears to ignorethe heat input limits established in the RGGS Permit, and also violates permit requirements regardingambient air monitoring activities. These permit violations demonstrate Permittee
’s failure to exercise
adequate oversight and management of RGGS operations and indicate an unacceptable disregard for the well-being of the Tribal community that has existed on the land where RGGS now sits for
at leastthe past 800 to 1,000 years.
The CAA authorizes members of the public to enforce air permit requirements. Specifically,
the CAA citizen suit provision authorizes “any person” to commence a lawsuit against “any person . .
. who is alleged to have violated (if there is evidence that the violation has been repeated) or to be in
violation of . . . an emission standard or limitation under this chapter . . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 7604(a
The definition of “person” in this section of the CAA is broad and encompasses Indian tribes.
§ 7602(e). The term “emission standard or limitation” is also broadly defined—it includes “any . . .
standard, limitation or schedule established
under any [Title V operating] permit” and “any permitterm or condition” that “is in effect under this chapter . . . or under an applicable implementation plan.”
§ 7604(f)(4). Prior to initiating such a lawsuit, the Tribe is required to provide 60-d
notice of the violations in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 7604(b) and 40 C.F.R. Part 54.
CAA PERMIT VIOLATIONS
The Tribe hereby provides notice, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 7604(b) and 40 C.F.R. Part 54,
that Permittee has violated the federally-enforceable provisions of the RGGS Permit in at leastthe following respects:
Falsified Ambient Air Monitoring Data
The RGGS Permit requires Permittee to collect ambient air monitoring data for
particulate matter (“PM”) and gas
eous pollutants. RGGS Permit, § V.H. Permittee is required tosubmit quarterly monitoring reports with the results of such monitoring to the Nevada Bureau of Air Quality Planning.
In submitting such reports, Permittee is required to conduct a
“reasonable inquiry” and, on the basis of such inquiry, certify that the contents of its reports are“true, accurate, and complete.”
§ I.S.Permittee operates RGGS in violation of these monitoring, investigation, and reportingrequirements. Documents the Tribe obtained from NDEP through a public records request