Reid Gardner Power Station Coal Ash Landfill
Sierra Club & Moapa Band of Paiutes Appeal of the Souther Nevada Health District Approval of Application for Solid Waste Management Facility, Permit No LF006-CMF-01 for the Reid Gardner Power Station

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Appeal Hearing Final Update: In response to the November 8, 2011 "Unopposed Petition for a Declaratory Order" filed with the State Environmental Commission (SEC) by the Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Sierra Club (the appellants) i.e., as per SEC Form #2, the SEC issued an "Order" vacating the previously arranged hearing dates for the above referenced appeal.

Subsequently, on February 15, 2012 the SEC considered the Petition for a Declaratory Order at the Commission regulatory hearing in Reno. After hearing testimony from the proponent of the order (Mr. Dan Galpern) along with testimony of representatives from each of Nevada's three "Waste Management Authorities", the Commission found that it did not have authority pursuant to NAC 444.748(2) to hear the above referenced appeal. (Read the Commission Order, dated March 5, 2012.)

Basis for the Appeal: Appellants (Sierra Club and Moapa Band of Paiutes) cite NAC 444.748(2) as the basis for the SEC's jurisdiction. According to Appellants' More Definite and Detailed Statement of Matters Asserted dated October 20, 2011, the statutes and regulations involved in this appeal are: NRS 444.440, NRS 241.020, NAC 444.333, NAC 444.644, NAC 444.737, NAC 444.739, and NAC 444.7481-7499. In appeal form 3, Appellants cite the following statutes and regulations: NRS 233B, NRS 239.010, NRS 439.366, NRS 444.556(3), NRS 444.560(4), NAC 444.643(5), NAC 444.644, NAC 444.737(2) and NAC 444.739.

About the Appeal: This appeal concerns a landfill permit issued to NV Energy by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). The permit modifies and expands NV Energy's coal ash landfill at the Reid Gardner Power Station in southern Nevada (see Google map). The permit is needed to provide adequate landfill space for fly ash, bottom ash and solids from the evaporation ponds in order to allow the facility to continue to supply electrical power to customers in Southern Nevada.(1)

As way of background, on October 28, 2010, the Southern Nevada District Board of Health (SNDBH) approved NV Energy, Inc.'s application to modify and expand its Class III landfill at the Reid Gardner Station. Appellants filed their appeal on November 6 and November 8, 2010. Because Appellants asked SNDBH for reconsideration of its decision, the appeal was placed on hold pending final action by SNDBH. On September 9, 2011, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) issued Class III disposal site permit LF006-CMF-01 to NV Energy, Inc., and on October 9, 2011, Appellants informed the SEC that the SNDBH had made a final decision and issued the permit.

The Appellants presented the following six issues in appeal form 3:

(1) NV Energy's application failed to establish a need for the expanded landfill;

(2) NV Energy failed to establish that its proposal to modify and expand its landfill will neither create a health hazard or public nuisance or impairment of the environment nor cause or contribute to air pollution or pollution of surface or groundwater;

(3) NV Energy failed in its application to provide an adequate characterization of the wastes it proposes to dump in the expanded landfill;

(4) NV Energy failed in its application to provide required landfill leachate analysis;

(5) it is difficult to ascertain the extent of additional contamination that would result from proposed expansion; and

(6) SNHD violated Nevada law because its decision was in part based on materials supplied by NV Energy which were withheld from public review and the possibility of meaningful public comment. Appellants' More Definite and Detailed Statement of Matters Asserted describes the legal issues in more detail.

Appeal DocumentsAs of 11/14/11

Related Information
August 2007, 2011 — Environmental Assessment NV-2006-292 Reid Gardner Facility Pond and Landfill Expansion Project Moapa, Nevada [83 Page PDF file]

Press Coverage
October 06, 2010 — Landfill expansion for plant opposed —
November 03, 2010 — SNHD Board Approves Reid Gardner Landfill Permit—Moapa Valley Progress
April 27, 2011 — Reid Gardner Landfill Expansion Draws Protest —Moapa Valley Progress
October 10, 2011 — Lawsuit aims to block expansion of NV Energy landfill

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   John B. Walker