BIA plans to resubmit assessment for Desert Rock

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) April 2010

The Bureau of Indian Affairs says it plans to resubmit its biological assessment for a proposed coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation.

The BIA withdrew the assessment for the Desert Rock Energy Project last year over concerns of the impact of mercury and selenium on two endangered fish species in the San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico.

In a letter last week to Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr., acting BIA Director Mike Black says the agency will resubmit an updated review and work closely with the tribe and others to resolve key issues holding up the project.

Supporters say Desert Rock would be one of the nation’s cleanest coal-burning plants.

Opponents say a third such plant in the area would compromise air quality, human health and the environment.