By Scott Wyland, Santa Fe New Mexican
February 25, 2021
State regulators are suing the U.S. Department of Energy for what they say is a failure to adequately clean up legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and they will impose tougher rules for disposing of waste generated at the lab during the Cold War and Manhattan Project.
By Sierra Club
February 15, 2021, Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to table SB 86 after Chairman Joseph Cervantes (D-31) unprecedentedly silenced proponents of the bill from giving public comment in committee.
“It was unfortunate to see both the democrats and republicans on Senate Judiciary vote to table SB 86. What needs to be emphasized and understood is that we don’t have a law on the books regulating oil and gas industry waste in N.M. Our priority should be communities who are most impacted by this waste and not industry. Such a travesty.” – Gail Evans, NM Environmental Law Center
By Kendra Chamberlain, NM Political Report
January 29, 2021
The state Senate Conservation Committee passed a community solar bill Thursday after a lengthy debate and multiple amendment proposals. Legislators have introduced various community solar bills over the past years, but the newest version of the bill was drafted by a task force that was created during the last session.
In the House, the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee passed HB 76, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos. The bill would amend the state’s Air Quality Control Act to allow the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to deny a permit application or revoke an existing permit on the basis of an operator’s poor compliance history.
By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press
January 27, 2021
The Biden administration last week suspended for 60 days the regulatory authority of federal land managers in field offices across the country, meaning any decisions regarding leasing, permitting or other reviews and approvals have to be funneled to top officials with the U.S. Interior Department.
Virginia Necochea, executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said the moratorium will force decision-makers in New Mexico and elsewhere to act more quickly on climate change and environmental justice issues. “This is our opportunity to end the practice of ‘profits over people.’ Now is not the time to exempt oil and gas operators from this critically necessary moratorium.”
By Theresa Davis, Albuquerque Journal
January 4, 2021
Constant gas flares lighting up the sky over New Mexico’s oil fields may soon be a scene from the past, under new rules proposed by the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to reduce methane waste in the oil and gas industry.
The Oil Conservation Commission began two weeks of remotely held online hearings for the proposed rules on Monday with a full day of public comment.
Oil and gas operators would need to meet a 98% gas capture rate by the end of 2026 under the proposed rule.
But some commenters, including attorney Doug Meiklejohn with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said nearly six years is too much time.
By Paul Gibson, Retake Our Democracy
Call To Action: Since When Is Asphalt Agriculture
Retake Board Member, Miguel Acosta shared the info below. It is the second time now we have reported on an asphalt plant trying to expand their operations into residential or agricultural communities. Only a week ago, we reported on approval of an asphalt plant in South Santa Fe and now another effort in the Mountain View neighborhood of ABQ. With a Democratic Governor, State Senate, State House, State Land Office, and Mayor of ABQ, how is it that we are having to raise our voices to oppose such an obvious instance of environmental racism?