NV Energy — Reid Gardner Power Station


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Readers Note: This webpage provides information about ongoing remediation activities at th e Reid Gardner Power Station in Southern Nevada. Information about "appeals" related to the power station are posted on the State Environmental Commissions Website — look under "Appeal Hearings".

Administrative Order on Consent:

NV Energy and the NDEP entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) for the Site, a legally binding document, on February 22, 2008. The AOC requires NV Energy to:

- Continue environmental contamination characterization activities
- Identify cleanup measures for soil and groundwater
- Implement cleanup measures approved by the NDEP
- Perform long term operation and maintenance of approved cleanup

The NDEP currently provides oversight of the NV Energy characterization and cleanup activities.

Site Background:

Reid Gardner is coal fired power plant located on 480 acres in Moapa Valley, Nevada. Historically, 4 generating units produced up to 557 MW of power. The station is located just 4 miles west of Glendale and 60 miles northeast of Las Vegas. NV Energy operates the Reid Gardner Generating Facility. The Muddy River crosses the site, as does the Union Pacific Railroad's Las Vegas - Salt Lake City line. The plant is surrounded by BLM land to the north and south, Paiute agricultural land and residences on the west, and an inactive dairy farm on the east. Power generation first began in 1965. More information can be found in the Reid Gardner Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet [pdf] [The 5 page, December 2014 fact sheet includes background information, a remediation overview, recent remediation activities, and a list of current reports]

The Reid Gardner Generating Station uses water in power generation activities. Water that had been recycled and used beyond the treatable limits is routed to onsite evaporation ponds. Some evaporation ponds did not originally include engineered liners and have impacted shallow groundwater via leakage of pond water to the underlying aquifer. Groundwater beneath the ponds is currently undergoing assessment and monitoring. The station is currently a zero liquid discharge facility and all active evaporation ponds are high density polyethylene (HDPE) double-lined with an inner leak-detection and collection system to protect groundwater. All ponds located within the Muddy River floodplain have been taken out of service and no longer accept process water. The active ponds are located on a mesa south of the station outside of the Muddy River floodplain.

Potential environmental contaminants identified at the Site include, but are not limited to, total dissolved solids (TDS), sulfate, chloride, metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with evaporation ponds and petroleum hydrocarbons.

Remediation Activities:

Over the past several years, NV Energy has been cleaning out and closing the historic evaporation ponds. Pond solids removal has been completed at seven (Ponds 4A, 4C-1, 4C-2 D, E-2, F, and G) of the 11 ponds that are in the Muddy River flood plain [MAP]. Solids are scheduled to be removed from remaining Ponds 4B-1, 4B-2, 4B 3, and E-1 in 2016 or 2017.

A number of potential petroleum source areas have been identified in the Plant Area (area of active power generation). These areas could not be investigated while power generating activities were occurring. In 2015, Generating Units 1, 2, and 3 were decommissioned and partially removed and investigation of five petroleum source areas in the Plant Area began. Soil contamination from historical releases of petroleum hydrocarbons was characterized in five petroleum source areas in 2015. Contaminated soil was remediated by excavation within four of the characterized petroleum source areas in 2015. Remediation of the remaining petroleum source area is anticipated to begin in 2018, following decommissioning of Generating Unit 4.

Diesel fuel was discovered floating on groundwater in the late 1980s beneath the Plant Area of the site. Fuel floating on groundwater (also known as “free product”) is likely related to a release from former underground diesel-fuel piping. A diesel recovery system, which recovers diesel and contaminated groundwater, began operation in 1988 and was upgraded in 2003 and again in 2013. Investigation of the extent of remaining soil and groundwater impacts related to the release resumed in 2014 and is ongoing. The diesel recovery system is currently decommissioned while characterization of soil and groundwater in the Plant Area continues.

In addition to the groundwater impacts associated with the on-site ponds and Plant Area petroleum source areas, various other potential sources of soil and/or groundwater contamination have been identified that will be addressed by ongoing work at the Site. Work may include sampling soil and groundwater to characterize potential contamination and, as appropriate, implementation of NDEP-approved clean-up activities.

Reid Gardner Generating Station AOC Meeting Minutes

Reid Gardner Generating Station NDEP Correspondence

Reid Gardner Generating Station Reports and Work Plans


Capstone Documents

Information Contact:
  • NDEP Primary Case Officer — NDEP Carson City Office: (775) 687-9396

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