NMELC IN THE PRESS


Santolina opponents file lawsuit against zoning change decision

The lawsuit was filed by Meiklejohn in the New Mexico Second Judicial District Court on behalf of the SouthWest Organizing Project, the New Mexico Health Equity Working Group, the Pajarito Village Association, and three individuals. Those that filed the lawsuit argue the two commissioners had already made up their minds on approving Santolina before a vote, which they say violated the county’s due process requirements. Albuquerque Business First

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Posted by Juana Colon on 07/08/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Next obstacle for Santolina: Court

While the Bernalillo County Commission recently approved three large measures advancing the Santolina planned development, opponents aren’t giving up…During hearings before the votes, attorney Douglas Meiklejohn asked De La Cruz and Johnson to recuse themselves for these reasons. Yet both refused to do so, arguing that they were voting in a legislative matter which allowed them to express opinions about it. County attorneys also made similar arguments. New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 07/07/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Santolina master plan approved; legal challenges ahead

Yet a coalition of advocacy groups opposing the Santolina development promise to challenge the county’s actions. Javier Benavidez, executive director of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), told reporters that the county commission’s shaky process of approving the project opens up many legal challenges.  “It’s definitely not the end of the road,” Benavidez said. New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 06/17/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Attorney general seeks review of appeals court ruling on regulations of copper mine pollution

“The copper rule flies in the face of the Water Quality Act,” said Douglas Meiklejohn, a New Mexico Environmental Law Center attorney representing the advocacy groups. “(The act) says that the Water Quality Control Commission must make regulations ‘to prevent or abate’ water pollution. This doesn’t do that. This allows water pollution.” TribTown.com

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Posted by Juana Colon on 06/14/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


WQCC approves Dairy Rule comprimise

The commission voted unanimously to approve the Dairy Rule…“This settlement is unique in that the environmental coalition we represent initiated discussions with the dairy industry,” New Mexico Environmental Law Center staff attorney Jon Block said in a statement. “We came up with a set of agreed-upon changes to the rules that they can live with and, we think, provide the New Mexico Environment Department with the means to protect groundwater. This was a win-win situation for all concerned and this time the dairy industry has real ownership of the final rule.” New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/13/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Copper & Water | Attorney general, conservation groups say Appeals Court decision was off the mark

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s new brief for the Gila Resources Information Project makes the argument that if the copper industry is allowed to pollute, others will also get a pass…“The thing we’re pointing out is that the rule violates the [Water Quality Act] on its face because you have to protect places of withdrawal, and they didn’t do that,” says Olson. Santa Fe Reporter

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/13/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Bernalillo County delays decision on Santolina

Douglas Meiklejohn, an attorney for SWOP and others opposed to the master plan, argued otherwise, in part, because the county doesn’t make up a majority of the water board. “The developer is essentially asking you to make a commitment that the county will be bound by an agreement that’s negotiated not by the county, but by the city of Albuquerque,” Meiklejohn said. “That’s inappropriate. You shouldn’t agree to that.” Albuquerque Journal

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/12/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Group Challenges Copper Mine Pollution Law

As the law stands, companies can allow toxic drainage to seep into the groundwater beneath their copper mines, as long as the pollution stays within a designated perimeter. But New Mexico Environmental Law Center director Douglas Meiklejohn says that’s a violation of the state’s Water Quality Act. “There’s a great deal of groundwater that’s being polluted pursuant to this rule,” he said. “And when you consider that groundwater is the source of drinking water for 9 out of 10 people in this state, it just doesn’t make any sense.” KUNM

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/11/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Mount Taylor Mine Public Hearing

This was the company’s third request, which included a May 1 public hearing about the amended Second Renewal and the Updated Closeout Plan. The company defended its current compliance with environmental regulations and its economic viability analysis of the international demand for uranium ore. The mine’s owners have continued to postpone cleanup by repeatedly requesting amended Standby Status designation, according to numerous community members. Cibola Beacon

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/05/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Billions of dirty ore dollars

Dormant radioactive uranium mine key to Blue brothers’ future fortune

Along with lots of military contracts, the deal came with plenty of land and uranium rights, including the sprawling Torrey Pines campus given to General Dynamics, the original owner of company, by San Diego taxpayers back in the 1950s. But the new owners also inherited the firm’s so-called zombie uranium operations, representing on paper at least, a substantial cleanup liability. For years, though, the Blues have kept regulators at bay and don’t appear likely to concede much soon. San Diego Reader

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/05/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Environmentalists oppose renewed standby permit for uranium mine

ALBUQUERQUE — Rio Grande Resources’ underground mine in Western New Mexico contains one of the largest stashes of uranium ore in the U.S., but it’s idle and hasn’t produced anything in years. It’s one of many “zombie mines” around the West that environmentalists say need to be closed and cleaned up rather than left on standby as companies wait for uranium prices and demand to rebound so operations can resume. Santa Fe New Mexican

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/04/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Alliance Questions Plans for [Mt. Taylor] Mine

COMMUNITY GROUP RECOMMENDS RECLAMATION

CIBOLA COUNTY – The uranium mine on Mount Taylor has not operated for almost 25 years, according to Susan Gordon, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment coordinator.

“Mt. Taylor is a ‘zombie’ mine,” said Gordon via email. “It’s neither producing uranium nor is it cleaning up its existing mess - it’s simply festering in the community. Pretending that it will operate in the future just prevents real cleanup in our communities. It is time for the Mining and Minerals Division to require reclamation of all uranium mine sites in New Mexico.” Cibola Beacon

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Posted by Juana Colon on 04/28/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Attempt to push back Santolina decision fails

The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday against pushing back a decision on the Santolina Master Plan. Commissioner Debbie O’Malley sponsored an initiative to allow an additional 90 days for more public input. The attempt failed on a 3 to 2 vote. Maggie Hart Stebbins was the only other commissioner to vote in favor of the delay…“The sheer size of something like this, I thought, required a lot of public input,” O’Malley said. New Mexico Political Report

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Also from New Mexico Political Report:
Water, ‘systems thinking’ and Santolina’s tangled history
Video: Two sides on Santolina

Posted by Juana Colon on 04/15/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Collected Works now carrying Justice Bars

Thanks to Collected Works! On March 12, this wonderful bookstore began selling our Justice Bars - organic chocolate bars that benefit our work at the Law Center. You can find Collected Works at the corner of Galisteo and Water in downtown Santa Fe. Pick up some of your favorites today! Dark chocolate with red chile, pure dark chocolate and milk chocolate with pecans.

Posted by Shelbie Knox on 03/13/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Water grab application sent back

Attorney Bruce Frederick, of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center who represents approximately 80 protestants, said the letter is an improvement over the state engineer’s prior silence on the application. “But the State engineer apparently intends to allow San Augustin Ranch to speculate in water by attempting to create a new pseudo-beneficial use called ‘commercial sales,’” Frederick said. El Defensor Chieftain

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Posted by Juana Colon on 12/11/2014 • PermalinkBack to top


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