By Hannah Grover | Farmington Daily Times.
FARMINGTON — The San Juan Mine could continue to provide coal to the San Juan Generating Station, or another customer, until 2033.
The final environmental impact statement for the mine’s Deep Lease Extension recommends allowing up to 53 million tons of coal to be removed. That would allow the mine to supply coal to the power plant for at least another decade should it stay open past 2022.
The Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement released the final study Friday after years of work. A record of decision will be issued in April, according to a press release. The document and responses to public comments can be viewed online at wrcc.osmre.gov.
The final study evaluates three alternatives: keeping the mine open until 2033, closing the mine this year and keeping the mine open through 2022 when its coal supply contract with the power plant expires.
Keeping the mine open until 2033 would allow Westmoreland Coal Company to continue supplying coal to the power plant or to find a new customer if the power plant closes in 2022.