Sierra Club Reaches Legal Settlement Requiring San Juan Coal Company to Clean Up Water Pollution
March 28, 2012
Sierra Club, represented by Charlie Tebbutt of the Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, P.C., Walton Morris of Morris Law Office, P.C., and Megan Anderson of the Western Environmental Law Center, reached a legal settlement with the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), and San Juan Coal Company to stop ground and surface water contamination that comes from toxic coal ash waste and other sources at the San Juan Coal Mine and San Juan Generating Station coal-fired power plant.
The settlement compels the companies to build structures including a “slurry wall” and a recovery trench to prevent contaminants from traveling toward the San Juan River.
In addition to establishing the groundwater recovery system, the legal settlement requires PNM, and San Juan Coal Company to fund $2 – 3.7 million in additional projects to restore the San Juan River basin watershed, control existing pollution sources at the facilities, and monitor downstream waterways.
“This settlement will help clean up northern New Mexico’s water after years of exposure to pollution from the San Juan Generating Station and coal mine,” said Nellis Kennedy-Howard, Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign senior representative in New Mexico. “While these mandatory measures will keep toxic pollution out of the San Juan River basin, coal continues to pollute New Mexico as it’s mined and burned. PNM ought to invest in creating energy from clean sources like solar panels, instead of exposing our air, water and land to ongoing toxic pollution from coal. We must move New Mexico beyond coal, to clean, local sources of energy.”
The settlement resolves the lawsuit that the Sierra Club initially filed on April 8, 2010 in the Federal District Court for the District of New Mexico against PNM, PNM Resources, San Juan Coal Company, and BHP Billiton alleging surface and ground water pollution illegal under the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Details and Documents:
Sierra Club Reaches Legal Settlement Obligating Utility PNM, San Juan Coal Company to Clean Up Water Pollution from Coal Facilities
March 28, 2012, Sierra Club Press Release
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