But opponents argue the rule is overly broad, relaxing regulations and enabling wide-scale pollution. They argue that the rule is the first time in the state’s history that an industry has been given a license to pollute and that the rule poses a substantial threat to the state’s aquifers — which provide 90 percent of the water that flows to New Mexicans’ taps. Santa Fe New Mexican
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09/29/2016 • Back to top
The state Water Quality Act requires regulations that prevent or abate pollution, but the rules in place specifically allow the copper mining industry to pollute groundwater, said Doug Meiklejohn, an attorney and executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Albuquerque Journal
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09/29/2016 • Back to top
The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments today regarding the controversial Copper Rule, which regulates the state’s copper mines and the amount of pollution they are permitted to release in their operations. This is the third time the rule has faced opposition from environmental interest groups and government officials. Silver City Daily Press
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09/28/2016 • Back to top
“As communities throughout the state are confronted by the critical impacts of long-term drought, it is irresponsible to allow mining companies to pollute groundwater that is needed by everyone.”
Allyson Siwik, GRIP Executive Director.
SANTA FE, N.M. — In a case that will set precedent for how the State of New Mexico protects water at industrial sites, the state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the “Copper Rule” case for September 28, 2016.
The Copper Rule is a regulation adopted by the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) to regulate groundwater contamination by the copper mining industry. It is the first regulation since the state’s adoption of its Water Quality Act in 1967 that allows an entire industry to intentionally pollute groundwater. The Copper Rule was largely written by mining giant Freeport McMoRan, and adopted in October 2013.
The state’s high court has been asked to set aside the Rule and require the WQCC to adopt a regulation that protects groundwater quality from copper mine contamination.
09/19/2016 • Back to top
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center continues to represent the protestants, and yesterday, September 12, submitted a motion to the Catron County Seventh Judicial District Court that the Court re-open its 2012 Memorandum Decision (denying the Ranch’s appeal of the OSE’s rejection of the water transfer) so that the Court can order the OSE to reject the Ranch’s amended 2016 application, which includes the same defects that caused the OSE to deny the application in the first place. La Jicarita
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09/13/2016 • Back to top
In 1996 ENDAUM came to the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for legal assistance, and the HRI case has been a part of the Law Center’s docket ever since…community activism forced Navajo Nation leaders to find the strength to ban uranium mining outright in 2005. No new uranium mining has begun in the state in the past 20 years. Impact Fund
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08/29/2016 • Back to top