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Press Release: EPA Approves the Implementation of Strict Pollution Control Technology

August 2011

Contact: Mariel Nanasi 505-469-4060

EPA Approves the Implementation of Strict Pollution Control Technology

PNM’s San Juan Coal Plant Impairs Air Quality and Visibility

New Energy Economy and a number of other environmental organizations, including, Amigos Bravos, the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, Conservation Voters New Mexico, the National Parks and Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, New Mexico Sportsmen, Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, San Juan Citizens Alliance, San Juan Quality Waters Coalition, and WildEarth Guardians urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve of and implement stringent toxic emission controls, specifically against PNM’s San Juan Generating Station, its coal-fired power plant. PNM, the state’s largest source of carbon pollution, had been asking the EPA to exempt PNM from these emission control requirements. We strongly encouraged the EPA Office of Air and Radiation to continue to support the prompt finalization of EPA proposed Federal Implementation Plan (“FIP”) and associated Best Available Retrofit Technology (“BART”) determination, which includes the installation of Selective Catalytic Reduction with a 0.05 lbs/MMBtu NOx limit for the San Juan Generating Station (“SJGS”) in New Mexico, and today the environmental groups prevailed.

“Thousands of people wrote letters, made phone calls and testified in favor of improving air quality and visibility in New Mexico. Once again, PNM is choosing profits over the health and welfare of New Mexicans. Rather than shuttering its coal plant and developing clean energy jobs in NM, like our friends in neighboring states, PNM wants to reinvest in deadly coal, said Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy.

EPA’ s discussion of the rule’s basis states: “The federal plan will require the San Juan Generating Station, to cut emissions to improve scenic views at 16 of our most treasured parks including the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Bandelier National Monument. Pollution from this power plant impacts four states including Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Improved air quality also results in public health benefits.

The thirty-year old San Juan Generation Station power plant is one of the largest sources of NOx pollution in the United States.”

EPA specifically rejected PNM’s “alternative, Non-Selective Catalytic Reduction (SNCR), [and the evaluation] showed that SNCR at the San Juan Generating Station coal-fired power plant achieves far less reduction in pollution and less visibility improvement, and does not fully meet the requirement of the Act for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART).”

“We are pleased that the EPA responded to public outcry against the polluters and in favor of New Mexican values: love of clear air, clean water and healthy land,” said Nanasi. “EPA’s pollution reduction law is based on years of sound economic and scientific analysis.”

About New Energy Economy

New Energy Economy is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2004 to create economic opportunity in New Mexico with less carbon pollution and more clean energy. New Energy Economy works in partnership with diverse allies to encourage job growth, investment and innovation in a more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy sector.New Energy Economy grounds its work in the research and findings of the world’s leading scientific and technological authorities. Learn more

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