NMELC PRESS RELEASES
CURRENT PRESS RELEASE
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center gave the annual Toxic Turkey Award to the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) and the Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) for their failure to adequately regulate the oil and gas industry. The Law Center gives the Toxic Turkey Award to a person or group that has shown extraordinary disregard for New Mexico’s environment. The award was presented at the Law Center’s annual members-only Member Appreciation Party in Santa Fe on December 2nd, 2018.
Past Press Releases
Yesterday, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Board unanimously voted to deny an appeal of an air pollution permit issued to Honstein Oil & Distributing, LLC. The Honstein facility is located near homes in the San Jose neighborhood in the South Valley of Albuquerque and holds a 6,000 gallon gasoline storage tank. The facility is one of many polluting facilities found in the South Valley, a community recognized by the US EPA as an “Environmental Justice community”.read more
On behalf of two community groups, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center submitted a Notice of Intent to Sue today to the McKinley County Commission identifying a possible Open Meetings Act Violation related to a meeting held in January 2017. Groups signing onto the letter include Red Water Pond Road and Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining. The letter outlines that the county failed to give proper notice about the meeting to the public, and didn’t publish the agenda in advance of the meeting.read more
Two New Mexicans were honored by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center on Sunday for their extraordinary contributions to protecting New Mexico’s water; a third was named the first two-time recipient of the Toxic Turkey.read more
The Copper Rule is a regulation adopted by the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) to regulate groundwater contamination by the copper mining industry. It is the first regulation since the state’s adoption of its Water Quality Act in 1967 that allows an entire industry to intentionally pollute groundwater. The Copper Rule was largely written by mining giant Freeport McMoRan, and adopted in October 2013. The state’s high court has been asked to set aside the Rule and require the WQCC to adopt a regulation that protects groundwater quality from copper mine contamination.read more
Today, parties were notified that state District Court Judge Nancy Franchini ruled against Santolina developer Western Albuquerque Land Holdings (WALH) in its effort to shut down an appeal by three public-interest groups. The judge’s decision allows the public-interest groups and individuals to pursue their appeal of the Level A Master Plan and zoning change for the proposed mega-development.read more
Yesterday, groups working to protect New Mexico’s water resources and wildlife asked the state Supreme Court to review the Martinez Administration’s “Pit Rule”. The Rule governs the storage and disposal of wastes at oil and gas drilling pits in New Mexico.read more
A state groundwater discharge permit for a controversial uranium mine proposed near Church Rock, NM has been officially terminated. Mining cannot begin at the site without a valid permit.read more
With your support, we filed our Reply Brief in the Copper Rule challenge before the state Supreme Court on March 7th. It’s one of our last steps before the state’s high court hands down a ruling in a case that could decide how groundwater is protected – or sacrificed – at industrial sites in New Mexico for years to come.
The Law Center and its clients, Amigos Bravos, the Gila Resources Information Project and Turner Ranch Properties, continue to hammer away at the Copper Rule. The Rule allows – for the first in New Mexico’s regulatory history – the intentional contamination of groundwater by an entire industry.read more
Albuquerque, NM – Yesterday, the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County under Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint, submitted by the non-profit New Mexico Environmental Law Center, asserts that local decision-makers “have demonstrated […]read more
Community and environmental groups to appeal SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) voted today to adopt copper mining groundwater regulations that expressly allow water pollution rather than prevent it. The rules, proposed by the New...read more
Throws Out Protections for New Mexico Groundwater SANTA FE, N.M. - On October 12th, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) submitted comments with the New Mexico Environment Department on draft changes to the state’s copper mine regulations. The comments were...read more