Moapa Band reaches $4.3M settlement for power plant pollution

The Reid Gardner Generating Station in Nevada. Photo from NV Energy

The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Nevada reached a major settlement with a company that operates a coal-fired power plant next to the reservation.

The tribe will receive $4.3 million from NV Energy over the operation of the Reid Gardner Generating Station. The company is not admitting wrongdoing but the money will help resolve environmental and health impacts of the power plant, which will be closing in 2017.

“This settlement recognizes the harmful impact the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians have endured and closing the Reid-Gardner plant was the right thing to do,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said in a statement.. “For years the band has suffered the consequences of breathing dangerous dirty air from the Reid-Gardner coal plant and this settlement is a step forward. While the settlement will provide relief and help make the tribe’s home healthier and safer, no amount of money can pay for the sickness caused by a half-century of pollution from the coal plant."

Members of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians held a 16-mile walk in April 2013 to call for clean energy sources. Photo from Sierra Club

About 200 people live on the reservation. Every day they deal with air quality and water issues that they believe have contributed to asthma, respiration illnesses and other health problems.

Courthouse News Service has posted a copy of the settlement in Moapa Band of Paiute Indians v. NV Energy. The Sierra Club is a plaintiff along with the tribe.

Get the Story:
Vegas-area coal plant owners to pay $4.3M to settle lawsuit (AP 7/30)
Tribe Wins $4.3 M From Polluting Utility (Courthouse News Service 7/30)
NV Energy, tribe settle suit over coal-fired power plant (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 7/31)

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