Hearing Examiner deems PNM arguments to block New Energy Economy "unpersuasive and without merit"
On Wednesday, we really sliced through a mountain of red tape as the Public Regulation Commission ("PRC") has ordered PNM to grant New Energy Economy and our Experts access to the San Juan Generating Station (“SJGS”) to conduct soil and water testing.
Up until yesterday, PNM had been stymieing us with a prolonged flurry of legal jiu-jitsu in their effort to deny New Energy Economy and coal-ash expert, Mark Hutson, access to test soil and water at SJGS. The PRC order puts this corporate behavior to bed, and we will visit SJGS!
PNM has also been dragging its feet and failing to produce technical documents which we need to assess the full scope of contamination in and around San Juan, and assess where testing must ideally be conducted. Finally Wednesday, PNM unleashed a Tsunami of data on SJGS, including how coal-ash is handled before being buried at the adjacent mine site, groundwater testing results and more. PNM did a data dump (as we knew they would) with more than a thousand pages of info, which we are only beginning to go through - thus far … there are reports documenting above-safe levels of Arsenic, Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Selenium, Molybdenum, Lead, and Uranium, among other metals. While PNM may possibly be hoping we’ll drown in the information before we arrive to do testing at the site, our expert is already plowing through PNM data to prepare for next week’s visit.
Regarding PNM’s delay tactics, the PRC states in the order granting NEE access that:
“...NEE has articulated valid reasons to enter the SJGS for inspection and PNM's objections to such entry and inspection are overstated in some respects, generally unpersuasive, and ultimately without merit. Of particular significance, the burdens PNM alleges it will have to bear in granting NEE access to the power plant site are substantially outweighed by the policies favoring broad and fairly delineated discovery reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence in adjudicative proceedings before the Commission. Accordingly, the Hearing Examiners find that PNM should allow NEE to access the SJGS for inspection no later than October 22, 2019.”