Meetings planned on looming environmental laws

James Fenton
The San Juan Generating Station is seen April 20 on County Road 6800 in Waterflow.

FARMINGTON — Several meetings this month will aim to put a spotlight on federal regulations looming over power plants in the state.

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, along with Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Diné College's Environmental Institute and others, will lead an event on Tuesday in Farmington.

The day's focus will be on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The plan is part of President Barack Obama's efforts to address climate change.

The regulations allow each state to develop an individualized plan to arrive at lower emissions rates. Mandatory reductions to reach the plan's goals kick in by 2022.

The "community training" on Tuesday is geared toward helping people understand the implications of the EPA's plan, according to a press release for the event.

"The main objective of the training event is to develop a basic understanding of the Clean Power Plan. ...  Participants will gain an understanding of the potential impacts of the Clean Power Plan for tribal communities, including alternative energy-efficient projects for the communities, and understanding the roles of tribal governments and the federal government in implementation of the Clean Power Plan," the release said.

On Thursday, a public input meeting by the New Mexico Environment Department will focus on reworking its own rules over excess emissions during "malfunction, startup, shutdown or scheduled maintenance" at power plants. Comments over the final action can be emailed to

And on Monday, the state Environment Department's Air Quality Bureau will host a meeting at the San Juan College School of Energy to take up the plan and hear concerns from the public over New Mexico's plans to meet the final rule.

States have until Sept. 6, 2016, to submit a plan or request an extension from the federal government. People who would like to comment on the state's planning process can email

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.

If you go

Clean Power Plan training workshop

When: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8

Where: Red Lion Hotel Farmington, 700 Scott Ave. 

Cost: Free. Light lunch provided.

More Info: Call Mansel Nelson, ITEP coordinator, at 928-523-1275. 

Clean Air Act meeting

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10

Where: Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, 3041 E. Main St. in Farmington

Cost: Free

More Info: Call Robert Spillers with the New Mexico Environment Department at 505-476-4324 to RSVP.

Clean Power Plan meeting

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14

Where: Merrion Room at San Juan College School of Energy, 5301 College Blvd. in Farmington

Cost: Free

More Info: Call Cindy Hollenberg with the New Mexico Environment Department at 505-476-4356 to RSVP.