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BURNHAM — A coalition of seven environmental groups, represented by Earthjustice attorney Nick Persampieri, Thursday filed a challenge to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s July 31 decision to grant an air permit for Desert Rock.Desert Rock Power Plant is the 1,500 megawatt pulverized coal-burning plant proposed near Burnham, about 30 miles southwest of Farmington on the Navajo Nation.

“We feel EPA placed the public health and the environment at risk by not doing a number of required analyses before it issued the permit,” Persampieri said.

The challenge to the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board in Washington, D.C., enumerates five main points it states were not addressed in advance of the permit. They include:ozone level of 0.75 parts per billion of ozone to air much of the summer

  • Failure to do a Maximum Achievable Control Technology analysis for hazardous air pollutants.
  • Improper analysis of whether the plant violates national ozone standards — of special concern in San Juan County, where ozone levels hovered at the new federal