NMELC PRESS RELEASES

CURRENT PRESS RELEASE

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….

Read Petition to the Air Quality Control Board
Read Draft Regulation Filed with the Air Quality Control Board on 11/21/22
Read One Pager FAQs Handout

Past Press Releases

Community Responds to Bernalillo County Commission Approval of Santolina Tire Dump

August 18, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Bernalillo County Commission voted 4-0 in favor of an amended Santolina Level A Master Plan and 3-0 to approve the Level B.II Master plan during their 4-hour-long hearing on Tuesday, August 16. Commissioner Pyskoty was absent for both votes, and Commissioner Barboa lost her internet connection during the second vote. She had indicated an intention to support both plans during the discussion….

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2nd Annual National Green Amendment Day Tackles Environmental Injustice Through Collective Action

Second Annual Green Amendment Day Tackles Environmental Injustice Through Collective Action

Yesterday, over one hundred environmental advocates from 23 states across the country gathered virtually to celebrate the Second Annual Green Amendment Day. Entitled “Green Amendments: Transforming Environmental Rights from Rhetoric to Reality,” programming aimed to shine a light on how enforceable environmental rights, in the form of constitutional Green Amendments, can help frontline communities’ address toxic pollution, environmental racism, climate injustice, and air and water pollution harming their communities….

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Bernalillo County Refuses to Hold Santolina Hearing Online

Officials Ignore Pleas to Expand Access to Public Hearing 

Albuquerque, NM—The Bernalillo County Commission is refusing to provide the greatest accessibility to the public by not allowing the public to attend the upcoming Santolina hearing scheduled for June 28 at 2pm over Zoom as they have done in the past throughout the pandemic. This is despite multiple requests from immunocompromised community members who want to participate, but fear for their health during this time of rising Covid-19 cases in Bernalillo County and across the state of New Mexico. The public deserves the greatest accessibility to attend this public hearing and their public safety should be kept at the forefront during these ever-changing times. 

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NM Adopts Clean Cars Standards

May 5, 2022

Access to electric vehicles addresses climate change and improves air quality

** RESOURCES: Spokespeople available upon request. **

SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board and the City of Albuquerque – Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board voted to adopt clean cars rules after public hearings on May 4 and 5. Adoption of the rules follows a robust stakeholder engagement process over the past year….

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Santolina Opponents Remain Determined After Disappointing Court of Appeals Decision

April 29, 2022

Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Denial of Appeals of Level B1 Master Plan and Level B1 Development Agreement

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Opponents of the Santolina Development project responded today to the Court of Appeals decision handed out on Thursday, April 20, 2022, that affirmed the District Court decision denying their appeals of the Level B1 Master Plan and the Level B1 Development Agreement. …

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Local Small Farmers Respond to County Commissioner’s Outrageous Attacks

April 19, 2022

WHAT: Press Conference (in-person)

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 4:30pm (before the ABCWUA Meeting at 5pm)

WHERE: One Civic Plaza, outside entrance to City Govt Center, near Plaza Eatery

WHO: Local small farmers and acequia users

WHY: To respond to the baseless & irresponsible comments made by a sitting County Commissioner 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—During a recent Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) meeting, Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada made the following outrageous comment attacking our local farmers: “Farmers [in the middle Rio Grande] tend to be the biggest wasters of water.” He also claimed that this outrageous accusation was based on “research” that his office had conducted….

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Santolina Development Thwarted Again by Community Opposition

March 2, 2022 For Immediate Release Bernalillo County Planning Commission Votes 3-2 to Deny Santolina Level A Amended Master Plan & Level BII Master Plan Albuquerque, NM—In an unprecedented action, the Bernalillo County Planning Commission voted 3-2 to deny...

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NMELC Announces Recipients of its EJ Awards for 2021

December 13, 2021 Toxic Polluter Award for 2021 Goes to Hilcorp Energy Santa Fe, NM—The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) announced the winners of its Annual Environmental Justice Awards for 2021. The winners were celebrated during the NMELC’s Annual Member...

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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….

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

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