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Court denies attempt by Gov. Martinez and PNM to stall pollution controls for coal-burning plant | Environment

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Court denies attempt by Gov. Martinez and PNM to stall pollution controls for coal-burning plant
Environment
Court denies attempt by Gov. Martinez and PNM  to stall pollution controls for coal-burning plant

An article released in Denver states that a federal court ruled that PNM must comply with requirements to install pollution controls to cut 16,000 tons a year of harmful haze, ozone, and fine particle-producing nitrogen pollution that pours from the smokestacks at the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, New Mexico, each year.

PNM and Governor Susana Martinez had petitioned to the court to delay the EPA's pollution-control requirement from taking effect and consequently that attempt to challenge the agency's decision was denied.

The San Juan plant sits just outside the borders of Navajo tribal land. “Now it's really time for PNM and Gov. Martinez to stop standing against the health of our communities who breathe this coal plant's pollution day in and day out.” said Sarah Jane White with the Navajo group Dine CARE. “It's time they start standing instead where the people of New Mexico stand-on the side of energy from clean sources that create jobs and protect health, land, air, and water.”

Nitrogen emissions from coal-burning power plants have been a major source of harmful haze in the Four Corners region for decades. Nitrogen oxide is a raw ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone, which leads to asthma attacks, respiratory problems, lung damage, and even premature death.

“PNM is already irresponsibly funneling over a hundred million dollars of New Mexican's hard-earned money into skyrocketing corporate profits during a tough recession,” said New Energy Economy Executive Director Mariel Nanasi. “Now Governor Martinez and the utility should immediately stop wasting more ratepayer and taxpayer money fighting clean air and public health in court, and start investing in clean energy.”

Western Environmental Law Center and Earthjustice represented the following groups contesting the request by PNM and Gov. Martinez to delay implementation of the pollution controls: New Energy Economy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, National Park Conservation Association, Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, and Sierra Club.

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