City Environmental Health Dept. Backs Off Efforts to Disqualify Air Quality Control Board Members

By Gwynne Ann Unruh, The Paper.

Small victories can mean a lot when you have endured a long history of environmental injustice and environmental racism in your community. Members of the Mountain View coalition and their attorneys from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center NMELC were elated when the City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department (EHD) backed off its efforts to get three board members kicked off the Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) for bias. EDH recently withdrew four motions on July 10 just ahead of a scheduled hearing set for July 17 to disqualify board members from a case against a hot mix asphalt batch plant proposed by New Mexico Terminal Services (NMTS).

“The board’s job is to prevent and clean up air pollution. EHD tried to hobble the board’s ability to do that, and now we are looking forward to presenting, alongside the community, at a hearing in front of the full board,” said NMELC Attorney Maslyn Locke.

Mountain View coalition—Mountain View Neighborhood Association, Mountain View Community Action, and Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge want the city to reverse the air pollution permit for the NMTS proposed asphalt plant at 9615 Broadway SE, just past the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, and north of Isleta Pueblo and I-25.

“We have Superfund sites, brownfields, auto wrecking yards, asphalt plants, chemical companies, a sewer plant, and huge fires at metal recycling yards. Ya BASTA con la contaminación y las pólizas,” (ENOUGH with the pollution and the policies) said Mountain View resident Lauro Silva.  …