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Senate President expresses concern with the impact of EPA regulations on Arizona’s economy

Senate President Andy Biggs today expressed serious concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of new regulations requiring the owners of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) to install up to $1.1 billion in new pollution-control equipment, ostensibly to reduce regional haze.

“I am deeply concerned by the EPA’s announcement,” Biggs declared. “While I appreciate the agency’s willingness to grant the owners of NGS additional time, the reality is that the agency’s new regulations, if implemented, will lead to higher water and electricity costs for millions of Arizona residents. The EPA’s plan also jeopardizes the long-term viability of NGS, threatening the employment of hundreds of Navajo and Hopi residents.”

The EPA’s new regulations establish some of the most stringent limits on nitrogen oxide emissions in the country—limits that will likely require the installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology at significant cost to the utilities and their customers.

The regulations also create significant legal and financial uncertainties for the utilities that own NGS, including Salt River Project and Central Arizona Project, which depend on the plant to provide electricity and water to millions of Arizona residents.

“What’s most disappointing about the EPA’s plan is its failure to acknowledge that SCR technology makes no perceptible improvement in visibility compared to technology that the plant owners have already agreed to implement.

“I strongly encourage the EPA to reconsider its decision and work with Arizona’s congressional delegation, the utilities, and Arizona’s Native American tribes on a solution that addresses regional haze without sacrificing the state’s economy.”

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