November 6, 2023

By V. B. Price, Mercury Messenger

A landmark environmental justice regulation proposed in Albuquerque — undoubtedly the most important of its kind in generations — has so frightened the business community here that it has gone to preposterous and disgusting lengths to undermine and destroy it.

Westside City Councilor and conservative Republican Dan Lewis, a petroleum businessman and pastor, introduced two bills in mid-October that would not only undermine the health of impoverished communities in Bernalillo County but would also deepen the county’s abysmal air quality record. The American Lung Association puts us in the top 25 most polluted metro areas in nation.

The bills, it seems clear to me, are aimed at preventing efforts of the Mountain View Coalition and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center to have their proposed regulation — called the Community-initiated Health, Environment and Equity Impacts (HEEI) rule — even heard by the Albuquerque/Bernalillo Country Air Quality Control Board, created by the state Legislature in the 1978. …

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