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Fighting for clean air in Albuquerque

For years, the Law Center our clients and others have fought a practice by the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County to permit air polluting facilities—asphalt batch plants, concrete bagging plants, petrochemical facilities—in low-income neighborhoods of color.

And when we say fight, we mean it: decision-makers refuse even to admit that air quality problems exist in neighborhoods like San Jose, which is home to 1% of the County’s population but a whopping 28% of its air pollution permits.

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02/06/2017 • Back to top


NMELC Urges US Senate to Vote NO on Judge Gorsuch

SANTA FE, N.M. — With President Trump’s announcement today of Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center - a nonprofit law firm whose attorneys have worked for 30 years to protect vulnerable communities from environmental harm - urges the U.S. Senate to vote against the nomination.

NMELC staff believe that the appointment of Judge Gorsuch will create a Court that does little to stand in the way of a concerted rollback of more than 60 years of federal environmental protections.

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01/31/2017 • Back to top


Top 10 Environmental Issues to Watch in 2017

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Trump and Martínez: A Double Whammy for New Mexico’s Environment and Communities

Environmentally hostile administrations will be making decisions about New Mexico’s communities and resources this year. Coming to the White House is a president who likely will set back federal environmental protections by years, if not decades…Yet these problems will likely mobilize even more New Mexicans to protect the air, water and lands that are so important to us. Together with the state’s advocacy organizations and public-interest attorneys, we can defend the state we love. But we’ll need to work together to make it happen. Green Fire Times

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01/30/2017 • Back to top


Questions remain as company seeks to re-open long-defunct copper mine

Now, New Mexico Copper Corporation, a subsidiary of THEMAC Resources Group, is trying to reopen a copper mine that ran for just a few months in the early 1980s. And some residents say they don’t want that to happen…NMELC attorney Jaimie Park said the draft study didn’t include adequate baseline data for wildlife and endangered species or the area’s groundwater resources. NM Political Report

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01/24/2017 • Back to top


Honstein Air Permit Case Through Our Client’s Eyes

NMELC clients Esther and Steven Abeyta share how you can help fight for clean air for all:

Hello my friend,

I hope this message finds you well. The reason I am writing you today is to invite you to attend on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (see notice) the Honstein Oil Air Permit hearing finally after four years on the appeal we filed.

A briefing on Honstein Oil. Honstein is a bulk petroleum facility in the community of San Jose located at 101 Anderson SE, right across the street from families’ residential homes. The reason it has taken four years for Steven, Juan, myself, Eric Jantz and Jon Block Attorneys with New Mexico Environmental Law Center to have a hearing in front of the Air Quality Control Board, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (EHD) has tried diligently to have the Air Quality Control Board not hear our appeal…

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01/11/2017 • Back to top


The Permit that Broke the Camel’s Lungs

When will the air pollution in Albuquerque’s low-income neighborhoods of color be too much?

This Wednesday, a hearing will convene to determine the fate of a permit for the Honstein bulk fuel facility. The facility, which operated its 6,000 gallon fuel tank for decades without a permit, is located in the San Jose neighborhood of the South Valley of Albuquerque. San Jose has a history of environmental injustice: a majority of residents are Latino/a, and more than 4 in 10 children live at or below the poverty line.

And though the neighborhood is only home to 1% of the County’s population, it is home to 29% of the county’s air pollution permits. The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department (EHD) approved the permit for the Honstein tank in 2013; we won the opportunity to have a hearing in 2015 to appeal the permit. But this case is about far more than just one permit….

Jump to how you can help

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01/09/2017 • Back to top


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