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State proposes San Juan Plant option

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Power: New plan would close coal units and improve air quality in the Four Corners region

By Arin McKenna

Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration has issued a proposed settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency for installing pollution controls at the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico.

In August 2011, the EPA issued the Federal Implementation Plan, which ordered PNM to install select catalytic reduction technology on all four units of the San Juan Generating Station within five years, rejecting PNM’s proposal to install a less expensive technology called selective non-catalytic reduction technology.

Martinez filed a petition to repeal the FIP in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is still pending.

The EPA granted a 90-stay of the FIP in July 2012, and asked the New Mexico Environment Department to lead the effort to bring all stakeholders to the table to discuss alternatives. The NMED solicited proposals from stakeholders (none were submitted) and conducted a series of public meetings for input.

New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioners Jason Marks and Doug Howe submitted a plan that called for replacing some existing coal units at SJGS with modern natural gas fired technology, utilizing renewable energy sources in the region and installing the less costly SNCR equipment on the plant’s remaining units.


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