Case Work: Air

Honstein Fuel Depot

LOCATION: Albuquerque, NM
CLIENTS/PARTNERS: SouthWest Organizing Project
STATUS: Closed
ATTORNEY: Eric Jantz


The Honstein Oil Co. operated a 6,000 gallon fuel facility in the San Jose neighborhood for decades without a permit. It finally obtained that permit in 2013, which led the Law Center and its clients to challenge the City/County Air Quality Control Board for failing to take into account “cumulative air quality impacts” (how all of the air pollution in the neighborhood affects residents – not just the emissions from one facility) and therefore failing to uphold their mandate under the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act to ‘prevent or abate air pollution.’ The City Environmental Health Department claims it is too poor to monitor air quality in the neighborhood, yet spent more than $100,000 on attorneys and experts to challenge our clients. An appeal hearing was held in early 2017. In June 2018, Honstein relocated to Broadway Blvd SE and submitted a modified permit for double the annual throughput.


04/22/2019 – Albuquerque Environmental health Department approved Honstein’s permit modification
03/14/2019 & 03/21/2019 – The Environmental Health Department held a Public Roundtable (3/14) and a Public Information meeting (3/21) on the Honstein permit modification
09/2062018 – Honstein filed a permit modification with the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department. The modification referred to the relocation, as well as a larger (10,000 gallon) unleaded gasoline storage tank and doubling the annual throughput from the facility from 250,000 gallons to 500,000 gallons.
06/25/2018 – During a tour of the South Valley with our clients, we discovered that Honstein had relocated to Broadway Ave south of Rio Bravo. Neither we nor our clients were notified of the move, despite the pending appeal of Honstein’s permit.
05/10/2017 – NMELC filed Notice of Appeal in New Mexico Court of Appeals. Notice of Appeal
04/12/2017 – Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Board unanimously voted to deny our clients’ appeal. Read press release.
04/05/2017 – NMELC filed Objections to the Hearing Officer’s Report, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Petitioners’ Objections to the Hearing Officer’s Report, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
03/03/2017 – NMELC filed closing arguments. Petitioners’ Closing Arguments, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
01/11/2017 – Hearing began on appeal of Permit No. 3131.
06/22/2015 – Oral arguments to be heard Tuesday, June 30th in Albuquerque before the Albuquerque Air Quality Control Board.
06/08/2015 – NMELC filed Response in Opposition to Motion to Vacate and Brief for Summary Disposition. Petitioners’ Response in Opposition to the Environmental Health Department’s Motion and Brief for Summary Disposition
04/29/2015 – Albuquerque Environmental Health Department Air Quality Program filed Motion to Vacate and Brief for Summary Disposition.
04/08/2015 – NMELC filed Notice of Intent to Present Technical Testimony. Petitioners’ Notice of Intent to Present Technical Testimony
08/12/2014 – NMELC filed petition for appeal. Petition for a Hearing on Permit
03/12/2014 – Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board Meeting Transcript, Page 65 – Parker Quote