Lawsuit Aims to Stop Expansion of Coal-Fired Power Plant and To Protect Citizens’ Health

In a legal action filed today challenging NV Energy’s right to continue to jeopardize public health, the nation’s leading environmental protection organization teamed up today with the Moapa Band of Paiutes (“the Tribe”) and the Western Environmental Law Center to urge the court to overturn a permit issued last year by the Southern Nevada Health District that allows the power company to massively expand its coal ash landfill in Moapa, Nevada.

Pollution is a fact of life when living next to the Reid Gardner plant by William Anderson, chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes


A must-read column by WELC's client William Anderson, chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, about what it’s like to live next to an old, dirty coal-fired power plant. 

On behalf of the Moapa people, we are fighting the expansion of the plant's coal ash landfill, which would enable the plant to operate for another 30 years. 

Ensuring Survival of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

The Southwest Willow flycatcher, a small migratory bird barely 6 inches long, is on the verge of extinction. As early as 1995, the Flycatcher was listed as endangered and an ensuing plan was hatched to protect and preserve it.

The flycatcher travels throughout the Southwest and nests in riparian (streamside) habitats where there is running water and dense growths of trees. Its Latin name means “mosquito king,” and its ability to control insects is an essential function benefiting people as well as plant life.

Feds propose more critical habitat for flycatcher


Great news for the endangered SW willow flycatcher! In response to WELC's lawsuit, FWS proposed to increase critical habitat for the tiny bird from the original plan of 730 river miles to 2,090 river miles. Now, habitat necessary for the flycatcher’s recovery will be shaped by science, not politics.

Click here to read the news article.

Coal-ash landfill vote draws protest

Environmentalists, tribe say coal-ash landfill cause of health issues

In a rally to commemorate Earth Day, about 25 environmentalists and members of the Moapa Band of Paiutes gathered outside Southern Nevada Health District offices Friday to protest the board's previous approval of an application to expand a coal-ash landfill near the tribe's reservation. 

Recreation Groups Argue For New Law Before Ninth Circuit


The extent to which nonfederal parties can participate in environmental litigation is now under review by an en banc panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals following a case argued on December 13, 2010.  Read the full article.

Small Nevada tribe sues BLM over coal ash landfill


The High Country News Just West Blog writes about the coal ash landfill lawsuit in Nevada.  WELC attorneys are representing the Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Sierra Club to challenge NV Energy’s environmental law violations at this site.  Read the article. 

Learn more about WELC's work on this issue.

In the Eye of the Storm

By Dan Galpern, WELC Staff Attorney

October 4, 2010 - The tension built even as clouds began to gather, as local Native Americans, environmental activists, and power plant officials filled the Moapa, Nevada community center. The Southern Nevada Health District was conducting a public meeting to consider NV Energy’s application to vastly expand its uncovered landfills where it stores tons of toxic coal ash.  If granted, the permit would enable the 45-year-old Reid Gardner facility to burn coal, and fill the earth, sky and water with its toxic byproducts, for another four decades. 

Lawsuit challenges expansion of landfill for power plant


The Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Sierra Club filed suit Thursday in hopes of blocking the development of evaporation ponds and the expansion of a landfill that would be used for continued operation of the Reid Gardner coal-fueled power plant 45 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The project was approved last month by the board of the Southern Nevada Health District over the objections of the Paiutes and the Sierra Club.

Battling Coal in the Desert

Reid Gardner Coal Facility

NV Energy, the owner and operator of the Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant, is seeking to expand - onto public land - its landfill and evaporation ponds for the disposal of toxic coal combustion waste, also called coal ash, produced by the Reid Gardner facility.  The managing public land agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), accepted NV Energy’s argument that it needs the extra space in order to continue generating power at the Reid Gardner power plant for the next 30 years and granted the right-of-way onto BLM land.  State and local agencies have likewise issued necessar

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