A power plant in Nevada has been added to a list of places where groundwater or soil is contaminated by coal ash — a by-product of generating electricity.

A new report from the Environmental Integrity Project says the North Valmy Generating Station between Winnemucca and Battle Mountain is one of nearly 150 sites of contamination.

The report says arsenic, fluoride and manganese levels are above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendations. The EPA is now working to regulate the ash as a hazardous material.

NV Energy and Idaho Power run the North Valmy Generation Station.

NV Energy sent us this response:

“Geologic and Hydro-geological soil and groundwater studies conducted throughout the State of Nevada conclude the possibility that Arsenic, Fluoride and Manganese levels are naturally occurring minerals at the levels which the EPI report states for the North Valmy Plant. As a result, it would not be uncommon to find these levels naturally occurring in Nevada’s many valleys. North Valmy Plant operates under a zero discharge permit issued by the NDEP with a ‘monitor and report’ requirement and no actual permit limitation. The information reported to the NDEP is reviewed and to date, NV Energy has never had any violations from the NDEP associated with groundwater in connection with the fly ash landfill. Also, as required by the renewal of our zero discharge permit, we substantially re-engineered the groundwater monitoring system at the North Valmy Plant and now have nine total wells with five associated with the landfill specifically. (Note the EIP report cites only two active wells.)

“At NV Energy we believe in the true science and testing behind regulatory permits, with periodic reviews by qualified agencies like the NDEP, and we act as a responsible company when handling fly ash disposal at our plants.”

To read the report go to – http://bit.ly/ur46PF

Name of Report:

Risky BusinessCoal Ash Threatens America’s Groundwater Resources at 19 More SitesDecember 12, 2011EIP: Environmental Integrity Project