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Gila River Indian Community and NGS Impacts

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  • 1. Gila River Indian Community Navajo Generating Station Impacts Councilman Augustine Enas & Ann Marie Chischilly, GRIC Law Office January 21, 2011
  • 2. Gila River Indian Community Profile
    • Reservation created 1859
    • Two tribes living along side the Gila River:
      • Pima (Akimel O’odham) & Maricopa (Pee Posh)
      • Population: 21,000 members
      • 373,000 acres of reservation
    • 1900’s – Diversion of all water
      • 100 years without water flowing
      • Largest epidemic of diabetes in US
    • 1930’s – Began fighting for Water Rights
    • 2004 – Signed Largest Water Settlement in US history
    • 2010 – Fighting to Enforce Water Settlement
    • 2010 – 1 st Tribe with a Tribal Implementation Plan to support clean air
  • 3.
    • What does the EPA BART decision and other pending control technology decisions for coal-fired power plants mean for GRIC?
  • 4. Navajo Generating Station (increase OM&R costs) LCRBDF Energy Costs Gila River Indian Community Impacts cost of water Two Impacts for the Community based upon the AZ Water Settlement
  • 5. Arizona Water Settlement Act
    • A. Lower Colorado River Basin Development Fund “LCRBDF” (section 107)
      • NGS surplus power funds the LCRBDF until 2039
      • Increased OM&R for the BART would decrease/eliminate the surplus power funding for the LCRBDF
      • LCRBDF began with $498M currently maintained by BOR
      • LCRBDF would be expended earlier than 2039
      • Could not use LCRBDF if expended earlier than 2039
    • B. Increase cost in water due to energy increase.
  • 6. Arizona Water Settlement Act Former Gov. Richard Narcia The specific process for funding this settlement is absolutely, absolutely fundamental to our settlement. Without it, our settlement simply will not work . . . . [T]he funding mechanism of this bill is the strongest possible affirmation that the Federal Government is serious about reaching a fair and binding settlement with every Arizona Indian Tribe that is willing to negotiate in good faith.
  • 7. Arizona Water Settlement Act Former Gov. Richard Narcia For the first time, the United States will be able to negotiate with Indian Tribes in Arizona knowing that if they are able to reach a settlement they will have the revenue, a certain quantity of CAP water, and the resources to guarantee that the operations, maintenance, and the replacement costs associated with that water can be paid for both for this generation and the next generation to come. [1] [1] Testimony of Governor Narcia, Joint Hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Indian Affairs on S. 437 (Sept. 30, 2003).
  • 8. Navajo Generating Station (increase OM&R costs) LCRBDF Energy Costs Gila River Indian Community Impacts cost of water Two Impacts for the Community based upon the AZ Water Settlement
  • 9. Worst Case Cost Impacts
    • Worst case minimum technology currently proposed is SCR plus enhanced baghouses
      • GRIC remains OPPOSED to SCR as BART because we believe it is very costly with no commensurate environmental benefit However , to protect GRIC’s interest we must assume a worst case scenario
      • Worst case minimum technology is SCR plus enhanced baghouses
      • Mercury Controls
      • Control of other HAPs (multi-pollutant MACT)
    • Does not include cost of GHG compliance or other regulatory requirements or potential permanent closure of NGS
  • 10. Economic Impacts on GRIC
    • Most recent SRP cost estimates for technology as converted to CAP rates for water pumping
      • 48% of GRIC’s Arizona Water Settlement water is CAP water
      • CAP energy rates will be increased by 33% or by $16.00 per acre foot.
  • 11. Economic Impacts on GRIC
    • Impact on Development Fund Revenues otherwise available to offset huge increase in pumping cost.
      • Cost of technology would reduce Development Fund revenues by $289 million (2016-2036) and $1.9 million/year thereafter
  • 12. United States’ Trust Responsibility
    • United States has trust responsibilities to GRIC that run to ALL Federal Agencies
      • Obligation to Protect Community’s water rights under AWSA:
        • “ the water rights and resources described in the Gila River Agreement shall be held in trust by the United States on behalf of the Community. ” AWSA Sec. 204(a)(2)
      • General fiduciary trust obligation to GRIC:
        • Federal government has “ moral obligations of the highest responsibility and trust ,” and its actions must be “ judged by the most exacting fiduciary standards .” Seminole Nation v. United States , 316 U.S. 286, 296-97 (1941)
    • EPA must protect the Community’s right to receive and use its CAP water allocation.
  • 13. Navajo Generating Station (increase OM&R costs) LCRBDF Energy Costs Gila River Indian Community Impacts cost of water Two Impacts for the Community based upon the AZ Water Settlement
  • 14. Cultural Implications For GRIC
    • Loss of Farming
      • Plan to bring 120,000 acres back into farming production
        • Teaching younger generation how to farm
        • Can existing farming continue, new farming begin?
      • Cultural implication
        • Spiritual ceremonies around planting seasons
      • Health related implications
        • Highest rate of diabetes
  • 15. Cultural Implications For GRIC
    • Loss of riparian development
      • Spiritual sense of flowing river
      • Native plants for cultural preservation
      • Loss of riparian habitat
      • Loss of animal habitat
      • Loss of recharge of aquifer
    • “ It’s like losing Our water all over again.”
  • 16. GRIC Goal
    • Ensure that the Federal Government will uphold its Trust Responsibility
    • and
    • make the Community whole.