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PNM: Farmington Plant To Reduce Emissions

The Associated Press
    Public Service Company of New Mexico said Thursday it plans to upgrade its Farmington coal-fired power plant to reduce air pollution.
       The move follows a lawsuit brought by environmental groups in 2002 that claimed PNM routinely exceeded federal pollution limits over a five-year period at its San Juan Generating Station.
       The upgrades announced Thursday would reduce nitrous oxide emissions at the station by 35 percent and cut emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, according to PNM.
       In a release, New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid called it a "major environmental air quality victory.''
       The San Juan station, 15 miles northwest of Farmington, generates 65 percent of PNM's power. Changes to the plant are estimated to take more than four years, according to PNM.
       In the lawsuit filed in 2002, the Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust alleged the plant violated the opacity limit repeatedly. An opacity reading of up to 20 percent is allowed under the generating station's operating permit and federal standards.
       A judge would have to approve any final settlement of the lawsuit.