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Power Plant Owners To Create Healthcare Fund

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The Four Corners Power Plant in northwestern New Mexico.

If you are a member of the Navajo Nation with respiratory problems and you live near the Four Corners Power Plant, you may have more access to health care soon.

The owners of the power plant struck a deal with the EPA and clean air advocates last week to create a $2 million pot of money for medical treatments for people with respiratory illnesses who live near the plant.

Lori Goodman is with Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, or Diné CARE. She said pollution from the plant has compromised the health of nearby residents.

“People that we work with are sick,” Goodman explained. “They have extreme asthma and respiratory problems and there’s no funds for oxygen tanks, so people are dying.”

The EPA says sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, compounds that are released by the plant, have adverse health effects, including lung tissue damage and premature death.

The settlement, which still has to be signed by a judge, also forces the plant’s owners to install up to $160 million worth of pollution controls on the coal burning units.  

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