Palo Verde is considered the largest nuclear energy facility in the United States and is located approximately fifty-five miles west of downtown Phoenix near the town of Wintersburg, Arizona. It has the greatest generating capacity of all American nuclear power plants, producing a total of 3,810,000 kilowatts. The station generates electricity to serve people in the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Palo Verde is unique in that it is the only "desert" nuclear plant in the western hemisphere - an engineering feat. Palo Verde reclaims and uses wastewater from local cities for condenser cooling water. For reactor coolant and steam, Palo Verde uses de-mineralized, de-ionized well water. There is no risk of sea, lake, or river water contamination or thermal pollution of waterways.
The Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating the response activities of county agencies. The State of Arizona and Maricopa County prepare and maintain a joint emergency response plan for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station to ensure a coordinated response to protect the public from the effects of radiation exposure in the event of an incident.