SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), a Santa Fe-based non-profit law firm, has been awarded a two-year, $300,000 grant towards Healthy Environment, Healthy Families. The project uses public-interest law to safeguard public health and the well-being of New Mexico’s under served families.
The grant was made by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.
“Every day, decision makers enact choices that affect New Mexicans’ health and quality of life,” says Douglas Meiklejohn, Executive Director and founder of NMELC. “For low-income communities and communities of color, whose communities are frequently targeted for polluting industries, these decisions often have negative impacts. Free legal representation can help residents more effectively participate in the technical proceedings where decisions about industrial dairies, bulk fuel depots, uranium mines, and other facilities that affect their families are made.”
The Kellogg Foundation grant will support free legal representation to communities working on public health and welfare issues, including:
– efforts to prevent new uranium mining and advocate for the effective reclamation of toxic and radioactive contamination that affects families in McKinley County;
– cases to protect water quality and quantity in Bernalillo County, including work to prevent the permitting of the proposed Santolina mega-development and work to accelerate cleanup of the Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill; and
– work to improve air quality in low-income neighborhoods along the I-25 corridor of Albuquerque. Poor air quality is linked to asthma and cardiopulmonary disease.
In addition to its work on these cases, NMELC represents clients throughout the state of New Mexico. Thanks to the generosity of members and funders like the Kellogg Foundation, our legal representation is provided at no charge to clients in more than 90% of its cases.
“We are grateful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for its support of this critical work to ensure that environmental decisions are made that protect the health and well-being of all families,” says Meiklejohn.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
New Mexico Environmental Law Center is celebrating 30 years of fighting for environmental justice for the people of New Mexico. The NMELC’s mission is to protect New Mexico’s communities and their air, land and water in the fight for environmental justice.
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