Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit for the Desert Rock Energy Facility

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In 2004, Sithe Global Power, LLC. proposed construction of the Desert Rock Energy Facility, a new 1500 megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation tribal reservation, approximately 25 miles southwest of Farmington, New Mexico. In consideration of over 1,000 oral and written comments received during an extended public comment period in 2006, EPA made a final decision on July 31, 2008 to issue a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit for this facility. The administrative record for the initial permit is available through See docket EPA-R09-OAR-2007-1110.Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Following EPA’s final permit decision, several parties appealed that decision to the Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). The Desert Rock Energy Company can not begin construction of the facility until this appeal process is completed. Documents filed in the appeal are available in the Desert Rock Energy Company, LLC docket on the EAB’s website.

On January 7, 2009 EPA notified the EAB that it was withdrawing a portion of our permitting decision for further consideration. Following the withdrawal EPA prepared an addendum to the statement of basis for the permit which addresses the issue of whether a final PSD permit for the Desert Rock Energy Company should contain emissions limitations for carbon dioxide. EPA requested public comments on this addendum from January 22, 2009 through March 25, 2009. The administrative record for the addendum to the statement of basis is available through See docket EPA-R09-OAR-2009-0259. Exiting EPA (disclaimer)


The nuclear dilemma

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Twenty-three years ago today, the world’s worst ever nuclear accident took place at Chernobyl, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). On this day nuclear reactor No 4 of the power plant exploded, sending considerable amounts of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. This produced major damage at the plant and in its vicinity, and created environmental health problems as far afield as Wales. Only 56 deaths in the Chernobyl area were directly attributed to the disaster, but over half a million people were exposed to radioactivity, and it is not yet known how many of these have suffered from cancer or other conditions as a result.

Chernobyl became a byword for the risks and dangers of nuclear power. Apart from the damage it caused directly, it seriously undermined the cause of nuclear energy and gave additional life to campaigns seeking to end its use. Two decades on, the world is having to face the fact that our traditional assumptions about energy need to be revised. We may have reached ‘peak oil’ (the moment at which new oil discovery is no longer keeping pace with the exhaustion of existing resources), and other carbon fuels (such as coal) are also being phased out. In this setting, many experts are arguing that nuclear power represents one of the key ingredients of a viable energy policy of the future.

Peruvian Indigenous Peoples Mobilize Across the Amazon

Peruvian Indigenous Peoples Mobilize Across the Amazon

Thousands of indigenous people are mobilizing across the Peruvian Amazon in continued protest over a set of legislative decrees that undermine indigenous land rights and violate Peru’s constitution as well as international law.

Coordinated by the National Organization of the Amazon Indigenous people of Peru (AIDESEP), as many as 1,350 Indigenous communities are involved in what is being called the “Mobilization for Indigenous Peoples.”

The main focus of the mobilization appears to be on the Napo and Corrientes Rivers, two of the Amazon’s main tributaries. Several communities have been holding blockades on both rivers since late last week, reports The Latin American Herald Tribune.

The situation is particularity tense on the Napo right now. Two boats reportedly broke through the blockade, including one from the Anglo-French company Perenco. “Three shots were allegedly fired at the Indians who chased after them,” says Survival International.

Following this, 80 police officers from the National Directorate of Special Operations of the National Police of Peru (DINOES) were ordered to clear the road blockade at the “El Vado” port on the Napo.

In preparation for a possible confrontation, a group of 300 indigenous people were sent in yesterday morning for additional support.

In recent weeks, protests and other blockades have also taken place along the Cenepa and Santiago Rivers, on a set of train tracks leading to Machu Picchu, and in several other commercially-important areas in the departments of Amazonas, Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, Cuzco and Junin.

Several protests are ongoing, and, as AIDESEP president Alberto Pizango indicated a few days ago, many more are likely to emerge. Speaking on CNR radio he said, “We are going to keep insisting.”

AIDESEP is demanding the annulment of legislative decrees 1020, 1064, 1080, 1081, 1083, 1089 and 1090.

They also want the formal recognition and entitlement of indigenous communities, and the suspension of all concessions currently on indigenous lands.

More information






April 24, 2009

Dear Friends,

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are beginning to consider separate legislation that could have an enormous impact on our nation’s energy future. It is essential that we all weigh in now, in the strongest possible manner, to help shape that energy future. Let’s tell Congress loud and clear to support renewable energy and energy efficiency programs and to stop any more taxpayer support for dirty and dangerous nuclear power and coal technologies.

Washington-based groups like NIRS, PSR, FoE, NRDC and others are working hard to stop this legislation from becoming a gift to the nuclear power and coal industries. But the nuclear and coal industries have far more lobbyists and far more money than we do.

What those industries don’t have is YOU.

And YOU can make the difference.

On Thursday, April 30, let’s keep the phones in the Senate and House ringing all day long with a simple message: YES to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, NO to any more taxpayer subsidies for nuclear power and coal.

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

In the Senate, the Senate Energy Committee will begin considering a major new energy bill sponsored by Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). Efforts will be made to add nuclear power to the bill’s Renewable Electricity Standard, to add nuclear power to a so-called “Clean Energy Bank,” to add still more taxpayer loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors and coal plants, and so forth.

In the House, the House Energy Committee will begin considering the Waxman-Markey climate crisis legislation. And we’re going to see similar efforts in the House to add the same kind of nuclear and coal nonsense.

On April 30, please call both of your Senators and your Representative with the simple message: YES to renewables and efficiency, NO to nuclear power and coal.

And to help set the stage for thousands of phone calls, let’s now start clogging the Congressional e-mail boxes with thousands of your letters! You can e-mail your Senators here and you can e-mail your Representative here.

Please forward this Alert as widely as possible, please make sure all your friends and colleagues know about it and can participate. Post the info on your websites, blogs, Facebook & MySpace pages, Twitter it, spread the word! It will take many thousands of us to overcome the nuclear and coal industry’s lobbying efforts. But we CAN do it!

And please consider supporting our outreach and mobilization efforts with your contribution here. Honestly, your donations of any amount are both needed and very gratefully appreciated. We can’t do this work without you!

And now for some good news: yesterday, the Missouri utility Ameren UE announced that it is suspending its plans to build a new EPR reactor, Callaway-2! Congratulations to everyone in Missouri and elsewhere who have worked so hard to block Ameren’s plans to force ratepayers to pre-pay for this proposed reactor!

And some more good news: yesterday we learned that the FY 2010 budget resolution will NOT include the amendments from Sen. Crapo to support $50 billion in new taxpayer loan guarantees for new reactors and additional funding for reprocessing technologies. Again, thank you to everyone who took action over the past two weeks to object to those provisions!

Maybe it sometimes doesn’t seem like making a couple phone calls or sending some e-mails, or even contributing $5 or $10, makes a difference: but it does! And we’ve already seen it several times this year. Now we’re asking you to take action again–because your actions CAN make the difference.

We will keep you posted on the progress of the Senate Energy Bill and House Climate Bill. But please send your letters in now, call on April 30, and spread the word!

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte

Executive Director

Nuclear Information and Resource Service


Grandmothers Counsel the World at The Evergreen State College

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(Olympia and Tacoma, Wash.) The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers was formed almost five years ago out of a deep concern for “the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life.” The Council, which includes spiritual leaders from across the world, assembles to pray, share ancestral wisdom and counsel the world from multiple perspectives of distinctive cultures.

The Evergreen State College welcomes four North American members of this council of leaders of nations. The Grandmothers will share their views on the environment, resiliency, peace and knowledge in a time of unprecedented global change.

Navajo celebrates HRI ruling / Company says they are still moving forward to mine uranium in Indian Country

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WINDOW ROCK — Ever since Johnny Livingston was a little boy, he remembers seeing Navajo families grazing their livestock on a portion of land within Churchrock Chapter known as Section 8, now owned by uranium mining company Hydro Resources Inc.

In 2006, as part of his declaration to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding jurisdictional issues over the land, the former Churchrock Chapter president identified Navajo families having Bureau of Indian Affairs grazing permits for the disputed area.

“Livestock owned by these and other Navajo families have grazed on Section 8 and its contiguous sections for as long as I can remember, including to this day,” he said

Sixth death linked to radiation scare lab

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A SIXTH person who worked in a university building linked with a radiation scare has died from cancer.

Professor Tom Whiston, 70, worked in Manchester University’s Rutherford Building and developed terminal cancer.

The building once housed the laboratories used by physicist Ernest Rutherford, who worked with radioactive materials.