Utilities Pay $160M in Four Corners Power Plant Settlement

coal power plant

by | Jun 25, 2015

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coal power plantThe EPA and the US Department of Justice yesterday announced a federal Clean Air Act settlement with several Arizona and New Mexico-based utility companies to install pollution control technology to reduce harmful air pollution from the Four Corners Power Plant located on the Navajo Nation near Shiprock, New Mexico.

The settlement requires an estimated $160 million in upgrades to the plant’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution controls. The settlement also requires $6.7 million to be spent on three health and environmental mitigation projects for tribal members and payment of a $1.5 million civil penalty.

The EPA expects that the actions required by the settlement will reduce harmful emissions by about 5,540 tons per year.

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is the operator and primary owner of the Four Corners Plant. El Paso Electric, Public Service of New Mexico, Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District and Tucson Electric Power are current co-owners of the plant and Southern California Edison is a former co-owner of the plant.

The settlement resolves claims that the companies violated the New Source Review provisions of the federal Clean Air Act by unlawfully modifying the Four Corners Power Plant without obtaining required permits or installing and operating the best available air pollution control technology.

Earlier this year three Shell Oil Company affiliates have agreed to pay $900,000 as part of a settlement with the EPA to resolve Clean Air Act violations, including selling gasoline and diesel fuel that did not conform to federal standards.

Photo Credit: coal power plant via Shutterstock

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