Buried coal

Reid’s effort to stop the construction of three coal-fired power plants in eastern Nevada is getting some assistance from western Utah.

Five hundred Washington County, Utah, residents have signed a petition opposing a plant in Mesquite, just over the state line from St. George, Utah. They are making contact with Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and congressmembers from Utah in their effort to stop the plant.

Petition organizer Lin Alder told the Salt Lake Tribune that action was needed to alert not just Utah officials but also Nevada officials to the plant’s dangers. He said the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, which must decide whether to issue an air quality permit for the plant, “probably won’t focus on Utah despite the fact we’ll pay with our health. So maybe we can get [Huntsman] to influence Nevada to be a good neighbor.”

Sithe Global Power spokesperson Frank Maisano said the proposed plant will use the latest clean technology to prevent the drift of pollutants into Washington County, Utah.

St. George was the hardest hit community during the days of Nevada atomic testing, which created a swath of cancers and leukemias east and north of the Nevada test site.