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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing an action it claims will significantly benefit the people of New Mexico. EPA is proposing approval of revisions to the New Mexico Regional Haze plan that addresses nitrogen oxide emissions and improves regional visibility from the San Juan County power plant.
“We are committed to working with our state partners to improve visibility and reduce pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Pollution, especially air pollution, has no geographical boundaries. We are pleased to propose approval of the State of New Mexico’s plan.”
EPA, New Mexico and Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) collaborated to develop an alternative to the EPA’s Federal Plan to meet haze and visibility requirements. The proposal allows EPA to withdraw the federal implementation plan while achieving reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, usage of water and generation of wastewater.
EPA does not require facilities to shut-down units to meet emission standards, however PNM will retire two units by Dec. 31, 2017. This coupled with controls on the remaining units will enable a 62 percent reduction of nitrogen oxides, which can react with other chemicals to form ozone and small particles, both harmful to public health.
Wednesday’s plan will improve scenic visibility under the requirements of the Clean Air Act’s Regional Haze program. This program targets some of the oldest pollution sources in the country.
The San Juan Generating Station was constructed more than 30 years ago and is working to update its pollution control technology to meet current air quality goals.