State environmental regulators have signed off on a proposal that calls for shutting down part of a coal-fired power plant that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest.
The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board voted unanimously Thursday to back the plan.
The proposal was negotiated earlier this year by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state's largest electric utility, PNM.
The proposal settles two years of wrangling over the best way to curb haze-causing pollution at the 1,800-megawatt San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico.
The plan calls for two units at the plant to be shuttered by the end of 2017. They would be replaced with a new natural gas-fired plant capable of producing at least 150 megawatts of electricity.
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