NM energy project spokesman reacts to fed decision

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2009 10:45 AM

A spokesman for the planners of a northwestern New Mexico power plant says he's disappointed that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has withdrawn a biological assessment for the Desert Rock Energy Project proposed on Navajo Nation land.

"It is a huge disappointment to see outside environmental groups and the governor rejoice at keeping the Navajo Nation from pursuing economic opportunities, tax revenue and a better way of life," Frank Maisano said.

Gov. Bill Richardson had called the decision positive for air and water quality.

The BIA last week withdrew the assessment over "significant concerns" about the impact of mercury and selenium on two endangered fish species in the San Juan River.

BIA Director Jerry Gidner said the decision allows more time for coordination among federal agencies.