The Four Corners region is rich in coal and oil & gas reserves. Oil & gas production and coal-fired power plants result in large emissions of air pollution that may be degrading air quality. Specific concerns include National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) increment compliance, degradation of visibility, and increased deposition.
The States of New Mexico and Colorado, with their partners, sponsor the Four Corners Air Quality Group to support the ongoing effort of managing air quality in the Four Corners area.
This Group is the result of a two-year effort that the states initiated to work on the air quality issues and challenges facing the Four Corners region. That effort involved the convening of a broadly representative group of people coming from industry, local government, public interest groups and community citizens. This group (then named the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force) met quarterly over the two years and discussed mitigation options. The result of this work is a 550-page Report that the agencies are now using as a guide in their implementation efforts.
Background on the Task Force
The U.S. Department of Interior - Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service (USFS) are currently responding to industry proposals for expanded development of oil and gas production in the region. There are two proposed coal-fired power plants: a 1,500 megawatt plant proposed on Navajo Nation lands and a 300 megawatt plant proposed north of Grants, New Mexico. Additionally, the population in the Four Corners region likely will continue to grow in coming years, resulting in even more air pollution and, specifically, more nitrogen oxide emissions.
In response to these challenges, the affected states, tribes and federal land managers in the region have come together to plan for control strategies for future air quality impacts from development. The concept of a Task Force emerged to enable a broad and inclusive collaborative process to regional air quality planning.
Please join us in working to improve the air quality in the Four Corners region. Please contact us if you want to get involved.