Coal-fired power plant decision by EPA to be appealed

Officials from PNM, a unit of PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM), will appeal a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require new emissions controls on the company’s 1,800 MW San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico.

EPA is requiring the coal-fired power plant to install selective catalytic reduction technology on all four units within five years. The utility said EPA in finalizing its decision bypassed an alternative technology approved by the state in June that would meet the same federal visibility rules for one-tenth the cost.

EPA’s decision would require an investment of at least $750 million, while selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) technology could be installed for around $77 million, the utility said.

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board in June approved a proposal to require installation of the lower-cost option at San Juan. SNCR technology would meet the federal visibility requirements of the federal Clean Air Act, the utility said. PNM claims EPA finalized its plan for San Juan without properly reviewing the state’s plan as required by the Clean Air Act. The New Mexico plan was approved by the state on June 1.

Appeal of EPA’s decision must be filed within 60 days from when the new EPA rule is published in the Federal Register.

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