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Former Moapa Band chairman William Anderson passes on at age 44

William Milton Anderson, a former chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, passed away on January 28. He was 44.

Anderson led the tribe in its successful battle to shut down a coal-fired power plant next to the reservation in Nevada. Residents blamed a slew of health and environmental issues on pollution from the facility.

"My neighbors and I feel coal pollution up close. Our children and elders suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments, and that makes the issue immediate and personal.," Anderson wrote in Indian Country Today on December 2011. "Emissions from coal plants have been linked to lung disease, premature death, heart disease and asthma, according to the Harvard Medical School."

Anderson also took the tribe in a dramatically new direction when it comes to energy development. The reservation is home to three solar power projects thanks to the efforts.

He also was a champion for the Gold Butte National Monument, Chris Jordan-Bloch, a multimedia producer for the environmental firm Earthjustice wrote in a memorial. The Trump administration has considered shrinking the boundaries of the monument, over the tribe's objections.

"In his final days he worked to protect thousands of Paiute artifacts and historical sites by getting southeast Nevada’s Gold Butte declared a national monument," Jordan-Bloch wrote. Earthjustice worked with Anderson and the tribe on its efforts against the coal-fired power plant.

Funeral services took place Friday on the reservation.

Read More on the Story:
In Memoriam by Chris Jordan-Bloch: William Anderson (Earthjustice February 1, 2018)
William Milton Anderson, ex-Moapa tribal chairman, dies at 44 (The Las Vegas Review-Journal February 1, 2018)
Moapa tribal leader who led charge against Reid Gardner coal plant dies at 44 (The Las Vegas Sun February 1, 2018)
Former chairman of Moapa Band of Paiutes dead at 44 (The Associated Press February 1, 2018)

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