Operating Permit Program

The mission of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency-Operating Permit Program is to protect and enhance the health and livelihood of the Navajo people.  It is also our goal to protect and preserve the natural beauty and environment on the Navajo Nation by ensuring the air emissions from the industries operating on the Navajo Nation are regulated. 


Regional Haze Rule and Best Available Retrofit Technology


The Clean Air Act requires BART (Best Available Retrofit Technology) review when any source that “emits any air pollutant which may reasonably be anticipated to cause or contribute to any impairment of visibility” in any 156 Federal Class I area. The Regional Haze Rule (RHR) and Section 169A of the Clean Air Act have as their goal the restoration of visibility in mandatory Federal Class I areas, including national parks and monuments, to pristine conditions by 2064.

EPA promulgated regulations for controlling air pollution on tribal lands known as Tribal Authority Rule (TAR), in 1998 codified at 40 CFR 49.1-49.11. Pursuant to 40 CFR 49.11, EPA has authority to issue a source specific implementation plan when EPA determines that such regulations are necessary and appropriate to protect air quality.

The Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP) and Navajo Generating Stations (NGS) are the only BART eligible sources located on the Navajo Nation , 40 CFR part 51 Appendix Y. On August 28, 2009 U.S.EPA Region 9 issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making “Assessment of Anticipated Improvements at Surrounding Class I Areas and Cost Effectiveness of Best Available Retrofit Technology for Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Generating Station”. EPA specifically requested comments on the data inputs used to model the degree of visibility improvements, and the cost of compliance of potential BART controls.


On March 1, 2010 the Navajo Nation submitted its comments on the ANPRM.

RE: Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Assessment ofAnticipated Visibility Improvements and SurroundingClassI Areasand Cost Effectivenessof Best Available Retrofit Technology of Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Generating Station, 74 FR 44313; Docket No. EPA-OAR-2009-0598

On October 6, 2010 EPA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Best Available Retrofit Technology Determination for Four Corners Power Plant.

EPA is requiring Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP), located in the Navajo Nation, to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and setting emission limits for particulate matter (PM) based on emission rates already achieved at FCPP. These pollutants contribute to visibility impairment in numerous national parks and wilderness areas surrounding FCPP.