Power Company Spends $270 million on Environmental Upgrades in Response to Sierra Club Suit
August 3, 2006
In response to a lawsuit brought against them by the Sierra Club, the Public Service Company of New Mexico recently announced that they will invest $270 million dollars to make their San Juan coal-fired plant as environmentally friendly as possible. The Sierra Club, along with the Grand Canyon Trust and the New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED) originally took legal action against the company in 2002 for violations of the Clean Air Act. However, Public Service Company’s recent decision is indicative of a major shift in the right direction. The new processes and technologies that the company will purchase/upgrade are expected to reduce emissions of pollutants to well below permit levels; nitrogen oxide emissions are expected to go down by 35%, sulfur dioxide by 65%, particulates by 70% and mercury by 75%. In addition, this decision will greatly help the local community, providing close to 500 jobs and $9.4 million in tax revenue, much of which will go to the school system. Public Service Company’s recent investment clearly illustrates the economic and community gains that go hand in hand with sustainable, environmentally friendly business decisions.
March 11, 2005
On March 11, 2005, the Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust announced a settlement with the Public Service Company of New Mexico in which the utility has agreed to invest $200 million to reduce air pollution from its San Juan coal-fired power plant. The victory comes in the wake of a trial in a suit brought by the Club and the Trust asserting long-standing violations of the Clean Air Act. The settlement includes a commitment to change the plant's permit to reduce soot (particulate) 70 percent, sulfur dioxide pollution 40 percent, and nitrogen oxide pollution 35 percent compared to the current permit. The company has also agreed to take aggressive steps to reduce mercury pollution from its plant, making it one of the first utilities in the country to install modern technology targeting mercury pollution. The agreement means healthier air for the citizens of the Southwest, as thousands of tons of toxic pollution will be removed from the air annually.
Details and Documents:
Coal Plant Comes Clean
September 12, 2006 Sierra Club Insider
PNM: A $270 million pledge
August 30, 2006, Farmington Daily Times
San Juan Power Plant to Cut Air Pollution
March 10, 2005, Grand Canyon Trust Sierra Club Press Release
PNM: Farmington Plant to Reduce Emissions
March 10, 2005, Albuquerque Journal
Editorial: 03/11/2005 - Clearer skies in prospect
March 11, 2005, The New Mexican Editorial
Power plant to get $200 million antipollution upgrade
March 11, 2005, The Farmington Daily Times
US power plant agrees to cut dangerous air pollution
March 11, 2005, Edie Newsroom
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