July 25, 2022
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
901 S. Stewart Street, Suite 4001
Carson City, NV 8970
Re: Conservation Organizations’ Comments on the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s Proposed Regional Haze State Implementation Plan for the Second Planning Period
Dear Mr. Tucker:
National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club and Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (collectively, “Conservation Organizations”) submit the following comments regarding the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s (NDEP) Proposed Regional Haze State Implementation Plan for the Second Planning Period (“Proposed SIP”).1NDEP, Draft Nevada Regional Haze SIP for the Second Planning Period (June 2022) [hereinafter Proposed SIP], https://ndep.nv.gov/posts/regional-haze-sip-for- second-planning-period. We attach and incorporate by reference the following technical expert report regarding Nevada’s Proposed SIP:
A Limited Review of the Nevada Regional Haze State Implementation Plan, prepared by Joe Kordzi, dated July 2022 (attached as Exhibit 1, including two spreadsheets) [hereinafter Kordzi Report]
NOx Emissions from Buildings in Nevada, prepared by Megan Williams, dated July 19, 2022 (attached as Exhibit 2) [hereinafter Nevada Buildings Memo].2These comments include other exhibits as identified in the list of exhibits at the end of these comments.
National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is a national organization whose mission is to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations. NPCA performs its work through advocacy and
education, with its main office in Washington, D.C. and 24 regional and field offices. NPCA has over 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide, including more than 12,500 members and supporters in Nevada. NPCA is active nationwide in advocating for strong air quality requirements to protect our parks, including submission of petitions and comments relating to visibility issues, regional haze State Implementation Plans, climate change and mercury impacts on parks, and emissions from power plants, oil and gas operations and other sources of pollution affecting national parks and communities. NPCA’s members live near, work at, and recreate in all the national parks, including those directly affected by emissions from Nevada’s sources.
Sierra Club is a national nonprofit organization with 67 chapters and more than 832,000 members dedicated to exploring, enjoying, and protecting the wild places of the earth; to practicing and promoting the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educating and enlisting humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to using all lawful means to carry out these objectives. Sierra Club’s Toiyabe Chapter, which represents Nevada, has over 5,000 members. Sierra Club has long participated in Regional Haze rulemaking and litigation across the country in order to advocate for public health and our nation’s national parks.
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (“Coalition”) is a non-profit organization composed of over 2,100 retired, former and current employees of the National Park Service. The Coalition studies, speaks, and acts for the preservation of America’s National Park System. As a group, we collectively represent over 40,000 years of experience managing and protecting America’s most precious and important natural, cultural, and historic resources.
The Conservation Organizations have concerns with NDEP’s Proposed SIP. This letter details these concerns and requests that NDEP make substantial edits to the
Proposed SIP prior to submission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure reasonable progress is made in Nevada’s Class I areas and Class I areas in the region. The Conservation Organizations’ concerns include:
1. NDEP failed to select cost-effective measures for reducing visibility-impairing pollution, even though the measures satisfied the regional haze program’s four statutory factors;
2. NDEP improperly truncated its four-factor reasonable progress analyses by excluding practical, lower-cost measures for sources with pending federally enforceable retirement deadlines;
3. NDEP assumed, with no support, that sources with either low utilization or low emissions would continue such operations in the future, rather than conducting Four-Factor Analyses and adopting enforceable limitations to prevent future visibility impairment;
4. NDEP failed to evaluate measures for reducing NOx pollution from buildings, a significant source of visibility impairment.
5. NDEP must include enforceable provisions in the SIP for all the emission limits and all the sources, including source retirement requirements and monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. NDEP’s Proposed SIP unreasonably relied on operating permits, and it not clear that all the necessary provisions were adopted by reference in the SIP.
Click here to read the full (PDF) document.
- 1NDEP, Draft Nevada Regional Haze SIP for the Second Planning Period (June 2022) [hereinafter Proposed SIP], https://ndep.nv.gov/posts/regional-haze-sip-for- second-planning-period.
- 2These comments include other exhibits as identified in the list of exhibits at the end of these comments.