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
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.
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
After a district court judge denied the state’s Sierra Club chapter a writ requiring that hearings on dairy rules be held in Santa Fe rather than Roswell, the Sierra Club now has asked the court to reconsider its denial.
On Sept. 25, First Judicial District Judge Jennifer Attrip denied the Sierra Club’s petition, but on Sept. 26 the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, representing the Sierra Club, asked the judge in a court filing to reconsider the decision. Quay County Sun
Staff Attorney Eric Jantz discusses zombie uranium mines and human rights with the Santa Fe Radio Cafe.
Staff Attorney Jon Block discusses current and proposed dairy regulations, and their impact on New Mexico’s groundwater with the Santa Fe Radio Cafe.
Staff Attorney Bruce Frederick discusses the Copper Rule and latest win against a water grab in the East Mountains of Albuquerque, NM with the Santa Fe Radio Cafe.
Executive Director Douglas Meiklejohn talks to KSFR’s Santa Fe Radio Cafe about how the Law Center got started and what four more years of the Martinez Administration will do to New Mexico’s environment.
Frederick said the court may have rejected it because of a separation of powers issue. “We’re still in limbo,” Frederick said. “The application is still sitting there in the state engineer’s office.” Frederick said the state engineer must reject the 2014 application for the same legal reasons that he denied the 2007 application. El Defensor Chieftain
“The commission has not shown any legitimate reason for weakening the rule,” said Eric Jantz, the NMELC’s attorney. “The state testified it had no problems implementing the 2008 pit rule, and during the time that rule was in effect, there were no recorded instances of groundwater contamination from waste pits. The 2008 pit rule worked, so why was it changed?” Albuquerque Business First
New Mexico’s dairies are not small, mom-and-pop operations producing milk from a modest number of cows grazing on pastureland. Instead, the state’s approximately 150 dairies have a total of about 350,000 cows, with an average herd size just over 2,000 cows…there’s no pastureland to be had. Santa Fe Reporter
In April 2013, Olívas – modest and soft-spoken but ready for a fight – led the charge to make his county the first in the U.S. to permanently ban corporations from fracking or otherwise developing oil and gas within its borders. “A lot of people asked, ‘Who in the heck is this small community up in northern New Mexico that’s picking a fight with oil and gas?’ ” he says. As a matter of survival, local people have always prioritized conservation, and they resent outside corporations making money at their expense, he notes. High Country News
The first county in the United States to outlaw fracking has an idea that could give environmentalists the upper hand—and deliver a major setback to big oil.
The likely outcome? Busy lawyers. But the suits could also set a nationwide precedent by settling an interesting argument: Does a community’s right to self-governance trump the rights of corporations? The county ordinance’s basic aim is to protect the water supply in a parched region of a drought-stricken state, but it also contains a bill of rights for the environment, which argues that natural ecosystems “possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist.” Outside Magazine
According to this source, the Martinez administration is “very friendly to the copper, dairy, and oil and gas industries,” and said that state workers working to safeguard groundwater quality were pushed out, “the industry basically stepped in and could do anything they wanted, and basically wrote the rules for themselves,” and that this is “still going on today.” thruthout
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The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) filed a Brief-in-Chief April 9 with the New Mexico Court of Appeals asking the Court to set the Copper Rule aside, according to legal documents released by law center…“This is going to be impossible to clean up,” Frederick said. “They’re polluting a huge source of potential drinking water that could be used for agriculture or domestic use.” Silver City Sun-News