The Forest Service could issue its approval this year, the newspaper reports… And once that happens, hoo-boy, is New Mexico in for an economic bonanza — the likes of which DeJoia can’t even describe to a reporter:
“I won’t run you through all the economics on that, but you can rest assured there is an awful lot of income tax paid on that,” he said. “There are a lot of New Mexico taxes in there.”
Thanks for sparing us the numbers. Nobody wants to be thinking hard when we could just be mindlessly digging for short-term profits. Grist.org
Go to Grist.org for full story.
But a coalition of organizations, including several Native American groups and an organization of former uranium miners, contends that a mining operation would imperil the area’s water supply and its quality. The group also believes it would severely impact an area designated by the Forest Service as a traditional cultural property that has great spiritual significance for indigenous people across the Southwest…
[Staff Attorney] Jantz said water pumped from the mine could result in significant drawdowns of surface water and springs. There is also concern that waste piles and toxic heavy-metal materials could make their way into ground and surface water, he said. Alamogordo Daily News
The U.S. Forest Service expects to close the comment period in mid-June on a draft environmental impact statement prepared for the proposed Roca Honda uranium mine near Mount Taylor, which the developers say would be the largest in the U.S.
“It is essentially the same as proposing a huge uranium mine in the middle of the Vatican. There’s just no way to avoid the impacts,” said attorney Eric Jantz of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, which is representing the coalition, the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment. Albuquerque Journal
How New Mexico’s copper industry wrote its own rules
To industry, the new rule represents the chance to profit and create jobs in New Mexico. Others see it as an abdication of the state’s responsibility to protect groundwater—and a move to hand over the public’s water to private companies…
when it comes to actually writing the rules—and upholding their integrity—it is NMED’s staffers who matter most. And that, to some observers, reflects another worrisome aspect of the changing rules. Over the past two years, NMED has seen an exodus that includes some of its best, most senior employees—including several longtime bureau chiefs. Santa Fe Reporter
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center says the change in the company’s plan is curious given that the market is soft and uranium mines in the U.S. are operating at less than one-third of their capacity.
The law center’s clients have also been pushing state mining regulators to require reclamation or cleanup of the mine under the existing standby permit. They are also appealing that permit. KOB.com
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The environmental and public health track record of the uranium industry has not appreciably changed since the last uranium mining boom from the 1950s to the 1980s. Uranium mining is still responsible for contamination of hundreds of millions of gallons of water in Texas, Wyoming and Nebraska and for ongoing public health disasters in those states. High Country News
Builders and environmentalists take to the courts to sort out which energy regs will prevail.
The New Mexico HBA’s chief executive, explain that builders objected to the Richardson Code because they thought the regs would have added too much to the cost of building a house at a time when the economy was still fragile…
“I find those comments interesting,” says Fiebelkorn of SWEEP, “because the builders were the ones who developed the [Richardson] Codes.” To back up her claim, Fiebelkorn provided Builder with a document that her energy consulting company, eSolved, released in June 2010, which showed that the majority of the 20 people on the Code Change Committee (including Milarch) were either builders or building industry officials. Builder Magazine
As citizens and environmental advocates from across the globe prepare to celebrate Earth Day this week, activists in the Land of Enchantment are squaring off against state construction regulators over building codes. Environmentalists are accusing regulators of side-stepping the law by refusing to comply with a New Mexico Court of Appeals ruling concerning the codes. “I have never seen a situation in which somebody, anybody, has announced in a press release that they were going to violate a court order. That is completely and totally unheard of,“ said Doug Meiklejohn, executive director of NMELC. Alibi
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A proposed project to pump billions of gallons of water from under the San Agustin Plains in Catron County could mean more water for Rio Rancho and other cities in this area, but residents near the plains and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center believe it would be harmful…“I think it’s an absurd notion on the face of it,” said New Mexico Environmental Law Center attorney Bruce Frederick of the proposal of pumping 54,000 acre-feet a year and replacing it with rain water. Rio Rancho Observer
Gov. Susana Martinez has passed over Deputy Secretary Butch Tongate and selected NMED’s General Counsel, Ryan Flynn, as the next NMED Cabinet Secretary-designee…As SFR reported in January, Flynn has been closely involved in development of the state’s newly proposed copper rule—which the state’s Water Quality Control Commission is currently considering. Opponents of the proposed rule, including the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, say it violates the state’s Water Quality Act. Santa Fe Reporter
Go to the Santa Fe Reporter for full story.
In a conference call with reporters, Douglas Meiklejohn of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center said he had never seen anything like it in 40 years of practicing law….The codes were implemented in 2010 under former Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, after a year of study and consultation with those in the industry. Republican Martinez became governor in 2011, and her Construction Industries Commission voted in June of that year to revise the codes. Las Cruces Sun-News
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center late Thursday asked the court to hold the state Construction Industries Division in contempt for continuing to enforce revised building codes that the court had ordered set aside…The Construction Industries Division responded this week, saying it would continue to enforce the revised codes until the commission meets next week to decide whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Las Cruces Sun-News
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center has filed a motion with the State Appeals Court asking it to hold the New Mexico Construction Industries Division in contempt after the state announced it would continue to enforce its 2011 building codes despite a contrary court decision last week. Albuquerque Business First
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Environmentalists are accusing state construction regulators of running afoul of the New Mexico Court of Appeals…The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is now asking the court to hold the division in contempt for continuing to enforce the codes. KOB
Go to KOB for full story.
Stricter energy efficiency standards for new buildings will stand, despite a fight by the governor and the construction industry…
The state court of appeals has now overturned the commission’s decision saying they failed to provide reasons for the change. The commission could chose to take up the issue again. KRQE