NMELC IN THE PRESS


Reader View: Martinez’s record: On the environment, it’s bad

Recently, it was quietly announced that Ryan Flynn, who quit his position as state environment secretary in August, would be heading the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Flynn — then a tax lawyer — as New Mexico Environment Department general counsel in 2011 and elevated him to secretary in 2013…Gov. Susana Martinez has said that she is proud of her environmental record with Flynn at the helm, but their approach has been only to protect polluters and sue the EPA. Santa Fe New Mexican

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/05/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Copper Rule in hands of Supreme Court

[L]ack of specific language in the bill drew attention from both opponents to the rule and the justices themselves. Justice Barbara Vigil at several times in the hearing asked supporters of the rule, “Is this not overly broad?” To a wider degree, opponents disagree with the rule’s validity as a whole in the authority it holds beneath the umbrella of the Water Quality Act.

Meiklejohn said that the rule is counterintuitive to the act. “The Water Quality Act states that any regulations that are adopted must be adopted to prevent or abate groundwater pollution,” he said. “The New Mexico Copper Rule does not prevent or abate; it allows.” Silver City Daily Press

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/01/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Environmental group ask state to deny firm’s request for water permit

The firm plans to drill 37 wells across the ranch property and pump 54,000 acre-feet of water annually — or 48 million gallons each day — which would be pumped, using hydroelectric and solar power, to areas in Catron, Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Socorro and Valencia counties through a 141-mile pipeline…The initial application also was met with opposition from tribal groups, local communities and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, which represented at least 80 people protesting the project.

Doug Meiklejohn, director of the nonprofit law center, told The New Mexican in August that he expects at least that many people to protest the current application. Santa Fe New Mexican

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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/30/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


State proposes changes be made to groundwater rules; Revisions would be first in 20 years

State officials say that the first proposed changes in groundwater quality regulations in more than 20 years will streamline processes and bring New Mexico into alignment with stricter federal standards, but groups opposing some of the changes have said that the new rules would shut down public discussion and lower New Mexico water quality standards…“Why is New Mexico taking a step back?” asked Jaimie Park, staff attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. “We used to have standards more stringent than the federal standards.” Roswell Daily Record

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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/29/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Copper mining regulation goes before state Supreme Court

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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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/29/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


New Mexico high court to settle dispute over pollution rules

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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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/29/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Copper Rule faces Supreme Court

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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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/28/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


They Keep Coming Back for the Plains of San Augustin Water

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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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/13/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Poisoned by Uranium, Navajo Nation Seeks Justice

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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Posted by Juana Colon on 08/29/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


New Mexico official clears way for hearing on water proposal

Doug Meiklejohn, an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said the latest application by the developers does not include any specifics about who the actual water users would be and only mentions that cities such as Albuquerque and Rio Rancho are in the market for more water rights.

“It appears that the application suffers from the same lack of end user that was the basis for us getting it dismissed the first time,” he said. “You can’t speculate in water in New Mexico. It’s illegal.” Santa Fe New Mexican

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Posted by Juana Colon on 08/18/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


New Mexico Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in “Copper Rule” case

The state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the New Mexico Copper Rule case for Wednesday, September 28 in Santa Fe.

The Copper Rule is a regulation adopted in October 2013 that allows the state’s copper mines to intentionally pollute groundwater. It is the first time since the New Mexico Water Quality Act was adopted that the State has exempted an entire industry from *pollution prevention requirements of the Act. KRWG

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Posted by Juana Colon on 08/12/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Do Albuquerque’s Air Pollution Policies Violate Civil Rights?

Under the Civil Rights Act, local governments that receive federal money are prohibited from discriminating against low-income people of color…

“These environmental rights, the rights to clean air, clean water—those are civil rights,” said Eric Jantz, an attorney for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center who filed the civil rights complaint with the EPA. “The air quality control board and the environmental health department have a fairly long history of suppressing public input and public activism around this issue.” KUNM

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Posted by Juana Colon on 08/08/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Reader View: Protect our state’s resources for the future

by Douglas Meiklejohn

The departure of Ryan Flynn from the position of secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department gives the governor an opportunity to do the right thing: appoint a secretary who will carry out the mission of the department.

Published in the Santa Fe New Mexican on August 6, 2016

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Posted by Juana Colon on 08/06/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Lowered deadline standards on new nuclear cleanup plan worries some

Jon Block, a Santa Fe attorney helping Nuclear Watch in a lawsuit against the Environment Department over the cleanup issue, said consent orders on waste cleanup are supposed to allow states to hold the federal government accountable to complete the clean up. Instead, he argued that the state Environment Department is doing the opposite.

“They’ve turned over the cleanup to the polluter,” Block said in an interview. “Instead of being the enforcer of noncompliance, they’re the cooperator, the negotiator, ‘we’re your pal.’” New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 07/22/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


Amid federal gridlock, lobbying rises in the states

“Right now I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the oil and gas industry in New Mexico is essentially self-regulating,” said Eric Jantz, an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center… “Oil and gas brings out its lobbyists and gets people from the oil patch to come and testify and spreads money around.” NMPolitics.net

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Posted by Juana Colon on 02/12/2016 • PermalinkBack to top


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