Aztec City Commissioners debate coal ordinance

The Daily Times

AZTEC — Complaints from neighbors about a resident on Ruins Road using coal to heat a house prompted Aztec city commissioners to consider a coal ordinance.

The ordinance would be based on Albuquerque and Bernalillo county's coal regulation.

However, officials fear the ordinance will be hard to enforce.

"It's not as easy as is the light on or off or what is the wattage," said William Homka, the city's community development director.

The Albuquerque/Bernalillo ordinance exempts people who depend on coal as their only source of heat. Coal smoke opacity is also limited to 30 percent, which would require Aztec to purchase specialized instruments.

Commissioners agreed that someone would speak to the owners of the house on Ruins Road before they pursue any sort of ordinance.

Commissioner Katee McClure said the easiest thing would be to educate the home owner about how to reduce the emissions while burning coal.