The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will require the 1,800 MW San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico to install best available control technology to reduce the plant’s nitrogen oxide emissions by 83 percent.

EPA’s action was taken under the Federal Implementation Plan proposed under the Clean Air Act. Public Service New Mexico operates the plant. Other owners include Tucson Electric Power, Southern California Public Power Authority, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Los Alamos County and the cities of Anaheim, Calif. and Farmington, NM.

EPA said emissions control could be achieved by installing selective catalytic reduction or other similar technology on all four coal-fired generating units . EPA proposes that the plant have three years to add the pollution controls.

EPA said the San Juan Generating Station was built more than 30 years ago and has not yet updated its pollution control technology to meet current air quality goals. The San Juan Generating Station is the only source in New Mexico covered by this action. Another nearby power plant, the Four Corners Station on Navajo lands, was covered by a different EPA action earlier this year.

The Public Service New Mexico web site said San Juan started a four-year, $320 million upgrade of environmental controls at the plant in 2006 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 35 percent, collect more than 99 percent of fly ash/particulates, remove more than 90 percent of sulfur dioxide and eliminate 85 percent of mercury emissions.

Publication of the EPA proposal in the Federal Register begins a 60 day public comment period. Additionally, EPA will hold a public hearing on our proposal in Farmington, New Mexico. EPA said the public hearing will be announced at a later date.

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