Desert Rock power plant, being fought by grassroots Navajos, has biological assessment withdrawn
BIA withdraws biological assessment for proposed Desert Rock power plant in NM
SUE MAJOR HOLMES
Associated Press Writer
6:00 PM PST, December 18, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Bureau of Indian Affairs has withdrawn its biological assessment for a proposed power plant in northwestern New Mexico, saying it has "significant concerns" about the impact of mercury and selenium on two endangered fish species in the San Juan River. BIA Director Jerry Gidner, in a letter Thursday to Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle, said the decision will allow more time for coordination between Tuggle's staff, the BIA and the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the second review of federal decisions for the $3 billion coal-fired Desert Rock Energy Project on the Navajo Nation. In September, the Environmental Appeals Board in part granted a request by regional EPA officials who wanted to review parts of an air permit issued last year.