NMELC in the News

Magdalena school board amends water grab protest

“Mr. Chambers had signed the petition in the name of Magdalena Schools and the problem is only the board can enter into a lawsuit for the school, not the superintendent. And this is a lawsuit,” Jaramillo said. “The concern by the school board at the time on Monday was...

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Bill to bring back oil and gas pollution penalty moves forward

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can authorize states to take over certain regulatory duties. Under that program, states must be able to assess penalties against companies that pollute water. But in New Mexico, the state’s Oil Conservation Division (OCD) hasn’t been able to do that for years.

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Top 10 Environmental Issues to Watch in 2017

Environmentally hostile administrations will be making decisions about New Mexico’s communities and resources this year. Coming to the White House is a president who likely will set back federal environmental protections by years, if not decades …

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Questions remain as company seeks to re-open long-defunct copper mine

Now, New Mexico Copper Corporation, a subsidiary of THEMAC Resources Group, is trying to reopen a copper mine that ran for just a few months in the early 1980s. And some residents say they don’t want that to happen…NMELC attorney Jaimie Park said the draft study didn’t include adequate baseline data for wildlife and endangered […]

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Ex-N.M. official given second ‘Toxic Turkey’ award

Lawyer Ryan Flynn got his first “Toxic Turkey” award in 2013 while head of the New Mexico Environment Department. He got his second award Sunday, four months after leaving government to become president of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center bestowed the “Toxic Turkey” at its annual donor […]

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Reader View: Martinez’s record: On the environment, it’s bad

Recently, it was quietly announced that Ryan Flynn, who quit his position as state environment secretary in August, would be heading the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Flynn — then a tax lawyer — as New Mexico Environment Department general counsel in 2011 and elevated him to secretary in 2013…Gov. […]

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Copper Rule in hands of Supreme Court

[L]ack of specific language in the bill drew attention from both opponents to the rule and the justices themselves. Justice Barbara Vigil at several times in the hearing asked supporters of the rule, “Is this not overly broad?” To a wider degree, opponents disagree with the rule’s validity as a whole in the authority it […]

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Environmental group ask state to deny firm’s request for water permit

The firm plans to drill 37 wells across the ranch property and pump 54,000 acre-feet of water annually — or 48 million gallons each day — which would be pumped, using hydroelectric and solar power, to areas in Catron, Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Socorro and Valencia counties through a 141-mile pipeline…The initial application also was […]

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New Mexico high court to settle dispute over pollution rules

The state Water Quality Act requires regulations that prevent or abate pollution, but the rules in place specifically allow the copper mining industry to pollute groundwater, said Doug Meiklejohn, an attorney and executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Albuquerque JournalGo to Albuquerque Journal for full story.

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Copper mining regulation goes before state Supreme Court

But opponents argue the rule is overly broad, relaxing regulations and enabling wide-scale pollution. They argue that the rule is the first time in the state’s history that an industry has been given a license to pollute and that the rule poses a substantial threat to the state’s aquifers — which provide 90 percent of […]

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Copper Rule faces Supreme Court

The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments today regarding the controversial Copper Rule, which regulates the state’s copper mines and the amount of pollution they are permitted to release in their operations. This is the third time the rule has faced opposition from environmental interest groups and government officials. Silver City Daily PressGo to […]

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They Keep Coming Back for the Plains of San Augustin Water

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center continues to represent the protestants, and yesterday, September 12, submitted a motion to the Catron County Seventh Judicial District Court that the Court re-open its 2012 Memorandum Decision (denying the Ranch’s appeal of the OSE’s rejection of the water transfer) so that the Court can order the OSE to […]

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