Eight State AGs Comment On Desert Rock Permit - WINS Seeks Native College Students - NAPT Opps
By Kathy Helms
WINDOW ROCK – The attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont have jointly submitted comments to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voicing concerns regarding the proposed issuance of an air quality permit for construction of the Desert Rock power plant.
The attorneys general said they believe EPA's Region 9 cannot properly rely on a memo from former EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, issued about a month before the Bush Administration left office, as the basis for refusing to impose the “best available control technology” requirement for carbon dioxide.
“Rushed through without an opportunity for public comment, the Johnson memo was issued in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act,” they said.
Johnson issued the memo Dec. 18, saying that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant “subject to regulation” under the Clean Air Act. The attorneys general said the legal interpretation of “subject to regulation” in the Johnson memo is inconsistent with the act.
“The Johnson memo's interpretation of the act is erroneous,” they said. “EPA Administrator (Lisa) Jackson's announcement last month that the agency is reconsidering the Johnson memo reflects an acknowledgment of these concerns.”
Several environmental groups have petitioned EPA to reconsider the Johnson memo and separately filed a petition for review in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequently, the state of California filed its own challenge. The D.C. Circuit litigation has been stayed pending EPA's completion of its reconsideration of the Johnson memo. On Feb. 17, Administrator Jackson announced that EPA was granting the petition for reconsideration.
The attorneys general said that Desert Rock is expected to emit 12 million to 13 million tons of carbon dioxide annually and that applying the flawed legal interpretation in the Johnson memo could lead to the addition of several hundred million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere over the life of the plant.
“Such a result would be wholly inconsistent with the Obama Administration's pledge to deal with global warming pollution from power plants,” they said.
Desert Rock, a 1,500 megawatt coal-fired power plant to be built on the Navajo Nation near Farmington, will employ state-of-the-art technology and have the most stringent limits on emissions of any coal-fired power plant in the country, according to developers Dine Power Authority and Sithe Global Power of Houston.
The Navajo Nation Council has approved all components necessary for the project to move forward from its end, however, approval of the Navajo Transmission Project, which is needed to transmit any power generated by the plant to areas such as Phoenix and Las Vegas, is back on the table for reconsideration following a challenge by Western Environmental Law Center.
The law center contended that the two projects are “connected actions” and that without the transmission project, Desert Rock cannot be built because there is no way to convey the electricity generated.
The attorneys general asked Region 9 not to make a decision about including a best available control technology limit for carbon dioxide in the Desert Rock permit until EPA headquarters completes its reconsideration of the Johnson memo.
The projected 12-13 million tons of carbon dioxide per year to be emitted by Desert Rock would amount to more than 120-130 million tons over the live of the plant, “thus significantly contributing to the public health and environmental harms associated with global warming,” they said.
Scientists overwhelmingly agree that the global community must reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, to well below 1990 levels within a few decades. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently declared: “If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future.”
Twenty three states are participating in a regional cap-and-trade programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and several states now require power plants to meet emission rates that will limit the generation of greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA Region 9 issued the air permit for Desert Rock in July 2008, and at the time, declined to include a best available control technology limit for carbon dioxide emissions, based on the rationale that it lacked the authority to do so given previous agency interpretations, the attorneys general said.
WINS Looking For Native College Students
Submitted by Christine Yazzie - Krystyln Media
Jack Soto from the WINS internship program is looking for Native college students with an accounting/finance background. He is trying to fill two internships – one at the gaming commission and the other at Treasury.
Anyone have any leads? If so, please have them contact Jack Soto at http://email@example.com :
Jack Soto, Director
Washington Internships for Native Students
Washington Semester AI/AN Program
Capital Building , Room 1144400
Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8083
T: (202) 895-4879
F: (202) 895-4882
C: (202) 445-5211
NAPT Producer Opportunities
Squaw Valley Screenwriting Program
Deadline April 25
The Squaw Valley Screenwriting Program takes place August 1 to August 8, 2009.
The program focuses on individual attention and work-in-progress, mentored by award-winning writers and writer-directors. Designed for both screenwriters and filmmakers, this unique program invites both narrative features and character-driven documentaries that are currently in development.
Chicago International Children's Film Festival
Deadline May 1
The 26th Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF) is North America's largest and longest running children's film festival and a world-class showcase for children's films.
Presenting more than 200 films and 150 premieres each year, the CICFF serves as the launching point for children's films into the U.S. market. As the only Academy Award-qualifying children's festival, CICFF grants top winners a chance at an Oscar nomination.
Mill Valley Film Festival
Deadline May 15
Known as a filmmakers' festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival offers a high profile, prestigious and non-competitive environment perfect for celebrating the best in independent and world cinema. MVFF accepts short and feature length films and videos in the following categories: narrative, documentary, experimental, animation, children's films and youth produced.
Regular Deadline: May 15
Final Deadline: June 15
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