The state Environment Department has reached a $1.3 million settlement with a company accused of releasing harmful air pollutants from its gas plant in southeast New Mexico.

In addition to the civil penalty, the settlement calls on ETC Texas Pipeline, Ltd. to permanently shut down a sulfur recovery unit at its natural gas processing facility near Jal, which the state says will eliminate more than 1,200 tons of pollutants annually.

“A strong enforcement response deters future violations and levels the playing field for those businesses whose investors and shareholders take environmental compliance seriously,” Environment Secretary James Kenney said in a statement Monday.

A spokesperson for ETC Texas Pipeline, Ltd. did not return a message seeking comment.

The state cited ETC for illegally emitting more than 3.1 million pounds of pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, between January 2017 and August 2018, according to a news release. The settlement states the amount was later changed to more than 2.4 million pounds “based on ETC’s submittal of corrected excess emissions reports.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

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