ENDAUM v. US Case Reaches Important Milestone with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

October 20, 2021

ENDAUM v. United States Government Case Reaches Important Milestone with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, USA—Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) announced today it will file its Additional Observations on the Merits including written and video testimony and other exhibits to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) based in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Oct. 21.

ENDAUM’s petition states that when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensed Hydro Resources, Inc. (HRI) (now known as NuFuels, a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company Laramide Resources) to operate uranium mining in the two Diné (Navajo) communities of Crownpoint and Churchrock it violated human rights guaranteed in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, including the rights to life, health, benefits of culture, fair trial, and property….

Bernalillo County Commission to Rehear Appeal of Zone Map Amendment for Santolina Development Project

August 23, 2021

Bernalillo County Commission to Rehear Appeal of Zone Map Amendment for Santolina Development Project

Albuquerque, NM – An appeal of the controversial Santolina Development Project will be heard a second time in front of the Bernalillo County Commission this week. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 3pm. Detailed information on how to view the hearing and the agenda at the end of this release.

The first appeal of the Bernalillo County Planning Commission’s recommendation to change the zoning from Agricultural to Planned Communities was back in 2014….

City Environmental Health Department Withdraws Motions to Disqualify Air Quality Control Board Members

July 9, 2021

City Environmental Health Department Withdraws Motions to Disqualify Air Quality Control Board Members

July 14 Hearing Cancelled

Mountain View Coalition Credits Community Mobilization Efforts for Raising Voices Against Environmental Injustice

 ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (EHD) abruptly withdrew four motions to disqualify Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) members from a case by Mountain View residents to reverse the air pollution permit for a hot mix asphalt batch plant proposed by New Mexico Terminal Services (NMTS).

Attorneys for the EHD had requested three members of the AQCB to be disqualified for bias; attorneys for the groups making up the Mountain View coalition—Mountain View Neighborhood Association, Mountain View Community Action, and Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge—were prepared to argue in the July 14th hearing next week in front of the AQCB that the bias claims were baseless and that there is no evidence to support the city’s disqualification requests.

Community Opposition to Proposed Santolina Development Continues to Grow

Albuquerque, NM – Dozens of grassroots community residents, small farmers and people concerned about dwindling water supplies gathered last week to become more informed and strategize about how to continue the fight against the proposed mega housing development project Santolina. 

The Contra Santolina Working Group, along with the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), co-hosted an event over Zoom that featured a detailed history of the movement since 2013 presented by Dr. Virginia Necochea; updates about the future of water in the Middle Rio Grande Valley from Santiago Maestas, President of the South Valley Regional Association of Acequias; how the Development project would impact irrigation from small farmer Marcia Fernandez; legal updates from NMELC attorney Douglas Meiklejohn; and inspirational encouragement from Alejandría Lyons, Environmental Justice organizer at SWOP.

NM Supreme Court Refuses to Review State Court of Appeals Ruling that Invalidated Zoning Change for Proposed Santolina Development

Santa Fe, NM – On April 16th, the New Mexico Supreme Court refused to review a ruling by the State Court of Appeals addressing the Santolina development that is proposed for Albuquerque’s West Mesa. 

According to New Mexico Environmental Law Center staff attorney Douglas Meiklejohn, the Supreme Court’s ruling means that the decisions by the Court of Appeals concerning Santolina remain in effect.

“The Court of Appeals ruling means that the land in question remains zoned Rural Agricultural and that it cannot be used for a planned community such as Santolina,” said Meiklejohn.

SWOP & NM Voices for Children Vow to Keep Up the Pressure on Kirtland Air Force to Clean Up Jet Fuel Spill

Between 5 million and 24 million gallons of jet fuel remain underneath the ground in Albuquerque’s precious aquifer in a giant plume that Kirtland Air Force Base discovered in 1999. Clean-up of the so-called spill has been moving very slowly for more than twenty years. The Air Force has not even fully characterized the spill, and now a judge has dismissed a case (SWOP et al., vs. US Air Force) that would have tried to get the Air Force to speed up the clean up of the contamination.

The EDB (ethylene dibromide) plume’s leading edge has been pulled back, but the main bulk of the plume has not yet been addressed, according to Charles de Saillan, staff attorney at the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, who is representing various clients on this important case.

“We are very disappointed in the decision,” said de Saillan, “and we are considering our options. The Air Force needs to be subject to an enforceable schedule for completing the investigation and cleanup of the plume.”