NMELC PRESS RELEASES

CURRENT PRESS RELEASE

New Study Shows Santolina Development Project Based on Unrealistic & Highly Unlikely Population, Jobs & Housing Growth Projections

February 16, 2024

Study Commissioned by New Mexico State Legislature Conducted by UNM Bureau of Business & Economic Research

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—A new study commissioned by the New Mexico State Legislature and conducted by the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business & Economic Research (BBER) found that the 2013 projections for population growth, jobs created, and number of housing units needed that developers relied on to promote the highly controversial Santolina Development project were “unrealistic” and “highly unlikely.”

UNM BBER published their report, entitled “Potential Impacts from Santolina Development,” on their website in November 2023. The UNM Press Office issued a press release in December.

An impartial analysis from The University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) evaluating the economic and fiscal impacts of the proposed Santolina development finds that buildout targets are likely too high, which could generate lower tax revenues than initially expected….

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Past Press Releases

IACHR Grants Thematic Hearing on Impacts to Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights from Uranium Exploitation

Media Advisory

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Historic Hearing to be Held in Washington, D.C.

Weds, Feb. 28th at 11am EST/9am MST

What: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Thematic Hearing

Where: IACHR/OAS, 1889 F St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006

When: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 11am EST/9am MST

Who: Members of the Navajo Nation, Ute Nation and Oglala Lakota Nation will testify

Why: Impacts of Uranium Exploitation on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States…

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Court Stops ABQ City Council from Purging Previous Air Board

Dan Lewis Bills Remain Unenforceable Until Court Determines Their Legality

Santa Fe—First Judicial District Judge Francis Mathew on Thursday, January 25, granted the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking the City of Albuquerque from implementing two bills that the Albuquerque City Council passed in December 2023 illegally removing City appointed members of the Air board and putting a moratorium on acting by the Board through February.

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City Council Intimidation Results in Rushed Air Board Regulation Hearing

New HEEI Rule Unlikely to Protect Overburdened Communities

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.

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AIR QUALITY CONTROL BOARD CONCLUDES HISTORIC PUBLIC HEARING ON HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT & EQUITY IMPACTS REGULATION

Questions Remain Over What Impact New Revised Rule Will Have

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—A historic public hearing in front of the Joint ABQ-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board concluded last night, Monday, December 11th, at which the Board heard evidence and requests from the Mountain View Coalition, Pro-Se Parties, Dr. Sofia Martinez and Manuel Criollo represented by the UNM Natural Resources Law Clinic, and Pueblo of Isleta, along with countless community partners to address decades of environmental racism….

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Air Board Decides to Continue Historic HEEI Public Hearing

Despite the horrific decisions by the Albuquerque City Council last night to override both Mayoral vetoes of the Dan Lewis bills to abolish the current Joint ABQ-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board and to establish a moratorium on board action through...

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ABQ Mayor Vetoes Bills That Would Have Purged Air Quality Control Board

November 22, 2023

Press  Release

Vetoes Mean Mountain View Coalition’s Cumulative Impacts Regulation Can Proceed to Dec. 4th Public Hearing

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller vetoed two controversial bills today that would have purged the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Joint Air Quality Control Board and established a moratorium on action until February. 

The Mayor cited a lack of cooperation with Bernalillo County, a lack of consultation with the Office of the Mayor, and that the bills were premature and an attempt to pre-empt the Air Quality Control Board’s upcoming public hearing on the Mountain View Coalition’s community-driven and historic Health, Environment & Equity Impacts regulation scheduled to begin in 12 days. …

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ABQ City Council Passes Bill to Abolish Current Air Board

November 10, 2023

Press  Release

Mayor Has 10 Days to Veto Controversial Ordinance

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—On Wednesday night, November 8th, after hours of debate and dozens of comments from community members, the Albuquerque City Council voted 5-4 to approve abolishing the current Joint Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board.

Councilors Dan Lewis, Brook Bassan, Louie Sanchez, Renee Grout and Trudy Jones voted for Lewis’ two bills to abolish the current board and to establish a moratorium on taking any action to address quality of life issues. Councilors Tammy Fiebellkorn, Pat Davis, Ike Benton and Klarissa Peña voted against both bills. 

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IACHR Makes Historic “Promotional Visit” to Churchrock & Crownpoint New Mexico

August 31, 2023

Press  Release

Commissioners See First-Hand Impacts from Uranium Mining & Milling to Pueblo and Diné Communities

Churchrock, NM—Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) and Red Water Pond Road Community Association, with support from NMELC, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and Southwest Research & Information Center (SRIC), hosted a four-person delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) during the last week of July at the  Pueblo of Laguna, Churchrock and Crownpoint chapters of the Navajo Nation, and in Gallup, New Mexico.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Issues Rare Denial to Uranium Company Seeking to Walk Away from Groundwater Cleanup

June 27, 2023

Press  Release

Homestake/Barrick Gold Request for “Alternate Concentration Limits” at Grants Reclamation Project Not Accepted by NRC

Albuquerque, NM —The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently took the unusual step of denying a License Amendment Request from Homestake Mining Company for Alternative Concentration Limits, which allow corporations to avoid cleaning up contaminated groundwater to pre-operational conditions. …

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Air Board DENIES All Motions By Industry Trying to Disqualify Board Members Re Proposed Cumulative Impacts (HEEI) Regulation

Industry Filed 4 Meritless Motions to Disqualify Air Board Members for Alleged Bias

Mountain View Coalition’s Motion for the Air Board to Consider Alternative Recording Methods due to Exorbitant Costs to the Coalition for Hearing Transcription Was Approved

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board denied all four motions filed by industrial businesses attempting to disqualify three Air Board members and the Board in its entirety from participating in the upcoming rulemaking for a cumulative impacts regulation over air quality in Bernalillo County. The proposed regulation is called the Health, Environment & Equity Impacts (HEEI) Regulation and can be accessed here. …

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New Mexico Terminal Services Air Pollution Permit Revoked by City

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board approved a joint motion tonight to dismiss a request for a hearing on the merits for an air quality permit issued in October 2020 for New Mexico Terminal Services (NMTS) for a proposed hot mix  asphalt batch plant that would have operated in the Mountain View neighborhood. The vote was unanimous tonight, Wednesday, February 8, 2023.

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Air Quality Control Board Votes Unanimously to Hold a Public Hearing on Proposed Equity Impacts Regulation

December 16, 2022

Mountain View Coalition & NMELC Pleased with Last Night’s Decision

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Community members were pleased when the Air Quality Control Board voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the Mountain View Coalition and New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s proposed Health, Environment and Equity Impacts Regulation on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.

The meeting was held hybrid and approximately 50 people attended in person and nearly 70 people attended over zoom. Eighteen community members spoke during public comment in favor of the proposed equity impacts regulation and the need for a public hearing. Other community members submitted written comments in support; State Senator Linda Lopez submitted a letter of support which was read aloud during the meeting.

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NMELC & ENDAUM Submit Request for Thematic Hearing to IACHR

December 8, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Diné and other Indigenous communities affected by uranium development took an important step on December 8, 2022, when they, with Law Center assistance, filed a request for a thematic hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to present testimony about the ongoing human rights violations associated with uranium development….

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Mountain View Coalition & NMELC Announce the Filing of Historic Health, Environment & Equity Impacts Regulation to ABQ-BernCo Air Quality Control Board

November 21, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Mountain View Coalition members—Mountain View Neighborhood Association, Mountain View Community Action & Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge—and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center will file their historic Health, Environment & Equity Impacts draft regulation to the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board on Monday, November 21st.

At 2pm on Monday, Nov. 21st, Mountain View Coalition, NMELC and community allies will gather at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 Prosperity Avenue SE, Albuquerque NM, to celebrate this historic moment in the long struggle for environmental justice in frontline impacted communities.

NMELC Senior Staff attorney Eric Jantz and Mountain View Coalition members will be on hand to speak about the draft regulation and to answer questions from the media. Copies of the draft regulation will be available at the event. The draft will not be made public until after the filing to the Air Quality Control Board on Monday, Nov. 21st. Community members and allies have been invited to come in support with signs. …

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