Changing the Playing Field: Proposed legislation would dramatically change New Mexico’s principal oil and gas law

January 18, 2023

by Jerry Redfern, Capital & Main

Three bills proposed for the New Mexico legislative session would shift the state’s focus on the oil and gas industry by emphasizing public safety and environmental protections, denying permits and increasing penalties for companies in violation of the law, and making it easier for citizen groups to sue scofflaw operators. 

The bills would dramatically redirect the Oil and Gas Act, which was written to protect oil and gas resources for the state’s benefit, to include protecting the environment and the public, particularly marginalized communities. The legislation could be the largest change to the act since it was written in 1935. …

Community Convinces Air Quality Board to Hold Public Hearing

Health, Environment and Equity Impacts Regulation Could Shift Environmental Racism in South Valley 

December 23, 2022

by Gwynne Ann Unruh, The Paper.

The South Valley is a clear example of environmental racism and they are fed up with being the dumping ground for decades of a dirty industry that no one else wants. The strength of community organizing paid off for residents there when, spearheaded by the Mountain View Coalition and New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), they were able to convince the ABQ-BernCo Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) to vote unanimously (5-0) to hold a public hearing on their proposed Health, Environment and Equity Impacts Regulation. 

“Most of the burdens and few of the benefits of economic development are experienced by residents in these overburdened communities,” Eric Jantz, NMELC Senior Staff Attorney told the AQCB….

The Easy Road For Bernalillo County Air Quality Polluters Is Closing

December 13, 2022

by Gwynne Ann Unruh, The Paper.

Bernalillo County residents are sick and tired of getting the short end of the stick when it comes to businesses affecting their air quality. They want to close the loopholes polluters use and make the health of the community paramount.

The Mountain View Coalition and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center have teamed up to present the Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board with a proposed Health Environment & Equity Impacts Regulation on December 14, that would make it virtually impossible for businesses to squeak by the Board if they produce any air pollution. …

Mountain View Coalition Action Today in Albuquerque

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022

MOUNTAIN VIEW COALITION TO ASK THE ALB-BERNCO AIR QUALITY CONTROL BOARD TO SCHEDULE A PUBLIC HEARING ON THEIR PROPOSED “HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT & EQUITY IMPACTS REGULATION”

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Mountain View Coalition and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center invite community members to attend the ABQ-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board meeting which is to be held hybrid tonight, Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 5:30pm to comment on the proposed draft Health, Environment & Equity Impacts regulation. We are urging community members to ask the Air Board to schedule a PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSED REGULATION. …

Groups want tighter rules for businesses seeking South Valley air permits

December 12, 2022

by Alexis Skonieski, KRQE Reporter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On a good day, Marla Painter says you can smell the fresh air in the South Valley. On others, she says all you smell are chemicals coming from the many industrial developments in the area.

“We have just seen one air permit after another rubber-stamped without any consideration for the health and wellbeing of the community,” Painter says. She feels the South Valley, her home for the last 25 years, has become a haven for industrial developments….

New Mexico Residents Raise Environmental Justice Concerns

By Susan Montoya Bryan
Associated Press
US News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — On the southern edge of New Mexico’s largest city is a Hispanic neighborhood that used to be made up of a patchwork of family farms and quiet streets, but industrial development has closed in over the decades, bringing with it pollution.

Neighbors point to regular plumes of smoke and the smell of chemicals wafting through the neighborhood at night, saying contamination has disproportionately affected the area when compared with more affluent neighborhoods in the Albuquerque area. …