With the PRC’s decision on PNM’s replacement power plan nearing, we’re working to ensure they and New Mexicans have the factual information they need about the plan and what it means for New Mexico. Some have gone cherry-picking in search of environmental truth – but we’re hear to tell the whole story.
Myth: There is no cause for concern about air quality in New Mexico.
Fact: New Mexicans’ health is at risk due to air quality.
Few metropolitan areas in the country fall below EPA’s standards for particle pollution, including areas with several coal plants. Despite others’ attempt to spin the report, American Lung Association’s Janice Nolen said that “using the data to claim SJGS has a clean bill of health is an overstatement.” Particle pollution does not represent as a local pollutant associated with coal plants as it is distributed down wind. It is a real concern, nonetheless, and is only one of a long list of lethal pollutants emitted from smokestacks. The State of the Air report does not cover many pollutants that likely come from a coal-burning power plant, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, or toxic emissions, such as mercury, arsenic, formaldehyde, acid gases, etc. Because of the way particle pollution travels with the wind, SJGS is probably contributing to health burdens far away from its original source.
SJGS is one of America’s largest single sources of harmful air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. The pollution from the San Juan coal plant is known to cause increased rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, birth defects and infant mortality. The cost to human health is estimated at $255 million a year, according to the Clean Air Task Force. Read the full Myths & Facts>>