EPA, State, PNM Resume Haze Talks
PNM said Friday talks have resumed among the state Environment Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the utility to seek an alternative for San Juan Generating Station to comply with federal visibility rules.
As a result, PNM said it is taking steps to push costs related to EPA-ordered SCR installation into later phases of the project by temporarily suspending the work of its engineering, procurement and construction contractor, in hopes of finding a less-expensive alternative.
PNM said its plan to file a request with the Public Regulation Commission for approval of the SCR project has been put on hold.
PNM has estimated the SCR cost between $824 million and $910 million.
There is no timeline established for the discussions to reach an agreement, PNM said.
Mining Assn. Backs Copper Rule Plan
The New Mexico Mining Association on Friday announced its support of the state Environment Department’s proposed copper rules.
“Mining operators will now have clear expectations for the way groundwater is to be managed by copper-mining operations in New Mexico today and after mining operations cease,” said Mike Bowen, executive director of the NMMA.
The development of new copper regulations was required under legislation passed in 2009 by the New Mexico Legislature. The rules recommended by NMED were developed during months of meetings that included state officials, academics, resource management experts, environmental groups and industry representatives.
New Mexico’s copper-mining industry generates an estimated $326 million of economic impact and supports 4,328 New Mexico jobs each year.
Jobless Center To Close for Holiday
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions’ Unemployment Insurance Operations Center will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System (www.dws.state.nm.us) is available online from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The Unemployment Insurance toll-free phone option, 1-877-664-6984, is available 24 hours a day for normal self-service functions Monday through Friday.
MVD Seeks RFPs For New Computers
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division has issued a request for proposals to design, develop and implement a modern driver and vehicle information system to replace the existing computer systems.
“It’s time to replace an antiquated MVD computer system with more customer-friendly programs,” said Demesia Padilla, Cabinet Secretary for the State Taxation and Revenue Department that oversees MVD.
Proposals are due by Feb. 28.
It is anticipated a single contractor will be selected and a contract for delivery of MVD’s new system awarded by June, the department said. Implementation of the new system is expected to take between a year and a half and four years.
MVD’s current computer systems are over 25 years old, obsolete and difficult to maintain. And there is real concern that they could simply break down if not replaced soon, the department said.