- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - Federal officials have finalized an analysis that ensures the continued operation of a northwestern New Mexico power plant and the coal mine that feeds it.

Friday’s record of decision comes three years after the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement gave notice that it would study the cumulative impacts of the Four Corners Power Plant and the Navajo Mine. About 800 people work there.

The decision approves a site lease extension for the power plant and a proposed mining plan, and renews rights-of-way on the Hopi and Navajo reservations. The analysis found that operations aren’t likely to harm endangered species in the San Juan River Basin. Environmentalists have argued otherwise.

The decision doesn’t allow the mine to expand into an area that is the subject of a federal court case.

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