The land is our home. It’s where we live, play, work and dream. Environmental degradation and disregard affects all of us: on public and private lands, urban and rural communities, and indigenous ancestral homes. The Law Center serves communities fighting to keep dangerous pollutants away from their land and clean up areas already contaminated.

Mora County Oil and Gas Fracking Ban

Case: Closed

Defend Mora County against legal challenges to the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Law, the first county level ordinance to ban all oil and gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing. The ban was adopted on April 29, 2013.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”) Disclosure Regulation

Case: Closed

NMELC will advocate that environmental and landowner protections be included in oil and gas industry-sponsored regulations for disclosure of fracking fluids.  The proposed regulations require drilling companies to report some of their fracking fluids within 45 days after they inject the chemicals underground to facilitate natural gas extraction.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ISL GEIS

Case: On-Going

We represent our clients in an effort to prevent the NRC from issuing a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for new in situ leach (ISL) uranium mining in Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. If approved, the NRC would apply the document to every proposed ISL minesite in those four states, rather than conducting site-specific environmental impact statements.  A Generic EIS would limit public participation in licensing proceedings, and would reduce the type of studies required at each site.  The agency issued a 500-page Draft Generic EIS in July 2008. In August 2008, we successfully petitioned the agency to extend its public comment period by 60 days.  During that time, we conducted an in-depth legal and technical review of the document, and submitted comments in November 2008, with national groups and groups from California, New Mexico and South Dakota signing on.

NM Construction Industries Commission Repeal of Energy Efficient Building Codes

Case: On-Going

Appealing the repeal of three building codes and amendment of a fourth by the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission. The codes included the Energy Conservation Code adopted in 2010, would have required new construction to be 20% more energy efficient than was required previously. The codes were developed through a collaborative process that included the construction industry, public-interest groups, and regulators. In terms of conserving energy, these four codes were the best standards of their kind in the United States.