New HEEI Rule Unlikely to Protect Overburdened Communities

January 12, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE, NM —The new Health, Environment, and Equity Impacts (HEEI) regulation passed by the Air Quality Control Board last month on December 11th has finally been  published on the Joint Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board docket. (See Docket No. 242, pp. 22-23).

The Mountain View Coalition, represented by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, continues to have questions about what the new rule means, how it will work, and most importantly, whether it will, in fact, protect predominantly low-income and People of Color communities like Mountain View that have been targeted with toxic and polluting industry for decades in Bernalillo County.

Unlike the rule proposed by the Coalition, which would have required Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department to deny air pollution permits in overburdened neighborhoods in some instances, the rule passed by the Air Board only requires polluters to utilize “Best Available Control Technology” under certain circumstances and does not require permit denial in areas that are already overburdened with significant health-related impacts from air pollution. …

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