NMELCs current Case Docket.


DOCKET OF CURRENT CASES


Cases are arranged alphabetically. To find a particular case, location or topic, use our search feature. You can use any search term, or multiple search terms to narrow the focus of the search.

You can also print out our list of currently-active cases.

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Honstein Fuel Depot [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Albuquerque, NM

Issues:

Our clients in this case are challenging the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Joint Air Quality Control Board’s method of permitting a 6,000 gallon gasoline storage tank that is located near homes in the San Jose neighborhood. The San Jose neighborhood of the South Valley of Albuquerque is recognized by the US EPA as an “Environmental Justice community”. We are challenging the current permitting process because decision-makers have failed to assess actual, cumulative pollution impacts upon the residents of San Jose neighborhood, and failed to uphold their mandate under the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act to ‘prevent or abate air pollution.’



Latest News:

04/12/2017 - Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Board unanimously voted to deny our clients’ appeal. Read press release.

04/05/2017 - NMELC files Objections to the Hearing Officer’s Report, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

03/03/2017 - NMELC files closing arguments.

01/11/2017 - Hearing begins 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 files Response in Opposition to Motion to Vacate and Brief for Summary Disposition

04/29/2015 - Albuquerque Environmental Health Department Air Quality Program files Motion to Vacate and Brief for Summary Disposition.

04/08/2015 - NMELC files Notice of Intent to Present Technical Testimony.

08/12/2014 - NMELC files petition for appeal.

Case Initiation Date:


Clients/Partners:
SouthWest Organizing Project

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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Humate Mining Regulation Amendment [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Northwest New Mexico

Issues:

Advocate for client who opposes a petition to weaken the New Mexico Mining Act Rules. The change, sought by a mining company, is to classify all humate mines under 60 acres as “minimal impact” mines. Currently, the Mining Act considers mines over ten acres “non-minimal impact” and requires them to comply with comprehensive monitoring and environmental regulations.



Latest News:

02/12/2014 - NM Mining Commission files Final Order and denies Motion to Reconsider.

02/10/2014 - NMELC files Response to Motion to Reconsider.

02/05/2014 - Opposing party asks NM Mining Commission to reconsider its decision.

09/17/2013 - NM Mining Commission decides to consider humate mines 20 acres and under as “minimal impact mines”, doubling the previous acreage of 10 acres.

08/27/2013 - Hearing is scheduled to reconvene on September 17th at 8 am.

08/16/2013 - NMELC files Notice of Intent to Present Technical Testimony for client.

07/01/2013 - Hearing scheduled for August 26 and 27, 2013

Case Initiation Date:
May 2013

Clients/Partners:
Amigos Bravos

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn

Case Status:
On-going

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Hydro Resources, Inc. uranium mines [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Church Rock, Crownpoint

Issues:

Two decades ago, Crownpoint resident Mitchell Capitan worked as a groundwater technician for the MobilOil pilot-scale in-situ leach (ISL) uranium mine near his home. He saw first-hand, month after month, that MobilOil could not clean up the water that it polluted with the process. (Go to case files)

When he learned that Hydro Resources, Inc. sought to open a new ISL mine near his home, he organized his neighbors into the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM – see videos below from two ENDAUM members).  Two years later, in 1996, they approached the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for legal assistance.  We have represented ENDAUM ever since.

It’s been an historic case, with work at the local, state, national and international levels.  The stakes are high: the Westwater Canyon Aquifer currently supplies approximately 15,000 residents of the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation.  In addition, the tribal water planners declared that the aquifer will be an important future source of water to meet growing demands in the future.  The mines and processing plant would also add radioactive air emissions to an airshed that already exceeds federal air quality standards for radiation.

If these mines succeed in opening, it will send a chilling message to communities near uranium ore: uranium is worth more than your water…more than your air…more than you and your neighbors.



Latest News:

01/05/2016 - WQCC vacate’s discharge permit 558 review.

12/15/2015 - NMED issues notice of termination of discharge permit 558.

09/24/2015 - Navajo Nation files comments in opposition to Draft Discharge Permit No. 558.

08/17/2015 - NMELC submits comments on behalf of ENDAUM challenging renewal of discharge permit DP 558.

08/06/2012 - NMELC sends letter to EPA Acting Administrator Coleman regarding aquifer exemption issued to Hydro Resources, Inc. for Church Rock Section 8.

03/08/2012 - Arguments heard on Summary Judgement. Judge decides not to rule on the merits of case because the case is not ripe yet.

10/11/2011 - ENDAUM requests hearing on motion for summary judgment.

09/01/2011 - ENDAUM requests judgment that the NMED has no authority to accept HRI’s application as a discharge permit renewal.

07/15/2011 - NMELC files Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and supporting documents for client, ENDAUM.

06/27/2011 - On behalf of ENDAUM, NMELC filed a letter demanding New Mexico Environment Department issue a notice to HRI that their discharge permit has not been renewed based on documents obtained that show high-ranking employees of the NMED have been improperly influencing regulatory decisions of the Groundwater Quality Bureau.

05/13/2011 - NMELC files a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights seeking to halt a uranium mining operation in the Navajo villages of Church Rock and Crownpoint, N.M

11/15/2010 - U.S. Supreme Court denies review of decision to allow in situ leach (ISL) uranium mining in the Church Rock and Crownpoint communities.

09/15/2010 - NMELC files an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to allow in situ leach (ISL) uranium mining in the Church Rock and Crownpoint communities.

05/18/2010 - The 10th Federal Circuit Appeals Court denies request for En Banc Rehearing.

04/22/2010 - NMELC files Petition for Panel or En Banc Rehearing to the 10th Federal Circuit Appeals Court.

03/08/2010 - The 10th Federal Circuit Appeals Court in Denver, CO returned with their decision upholding the NRC license allowing HRI to mine for uranium in Crownpoint’s municipal water supply.

05/12/2008 - Oral arguments are heard in 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, CO. Currently we are waiting to hear judges decision.

Case Initiation Date:
September 1996

Clients/Partners:
Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) and the Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC)

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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Knowles Community Groundwater Case [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Knowles near Hobbs

Issues:

Represent clients in proceeding where dairies are drawing down local water supplies.



Latest News:

01/27/2012 - Case settled.

08/03/2011 - Hearing scheduled for end of January 2012 before the Office of the State Engineer.

Case Initiation Date:
November 2009

Clients/Partners:
individuals

Attorneys:
Jonathan Block

Case Status:
CLOSED - Settlement reached which requires that the dairy operations irrigation water be metered with quarterly reporting of water use.

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La Sal Uranium Mine Complex [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Moab, UT

Issues:

Represent group in NEPA process for the La Sal Mines Complex.



Latest News:
Case Initiation Date:
March 2012

Clients/Partners:
Uranium Watch

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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LANL Cleanup Failure Challenge [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Los Alamos National Lab

Issues:

Representing our client as it challenges the failure of Los Alamos National Laboratory to clean up toxic and radioactive waste as required by a “Consent Order” to which it agreed in 2005.



Latest News:

01/20/2016 - NMELC served the Department of Energy with our 90 day Notice of Intent to file a federal lawsuit over LANL’s failure to clean up toxic contamination within the required deadlines under the Consent Order.

Case Initiation Date:
January 2016

Clients/Partners:
Nuclear Watch

Attorneys:
Jon Block

Case Status:
On-going

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LANL Discharge Permit 1793 Public Hearing [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Los Alamos

Issues:

Challenge decision by NMED to deny a public hearing during its consideration of DP-1793, which includes open spraying of wastewater (with constituents above standards) at LANL.



Latest News:

08/15/2016 - NMELC files Reply Briefs to LANS and WQCC Answer Briefs

06/10/2016 - NMELC files Brief in Chief in the NM Court of Appeals

02/03/2016 - NMELC files docketing statement in NM Court of Appeals

Case Initiation Date:
August 2015

Clients/Partners:
CCNS, Citizens for Clean Water

Attorneys:
Jaimie Park

Case Status:
On-going

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility Discharge Permit [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Los Alamos

Issues:

Representing client in state proceedings concerning Discharge Permit 1132 for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility.



Latest News:
Case Initiation Date:
June 2004

Clients/Partners:
Amigos Bravos

Attorneys:
Jonathan Block

Case Status:
On-going

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Los Alamos National Security LLC Hazardous Waste Appeal [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Los Alamos

Issues:

The Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos National Security LLC (LANS) assert that the State issued permit violates federal law.



Latest News:

02/23/2011 - CCNS files Motion to Intervene in permit appeal.

Case Initiation Date:
January 2011

Clients/Partners:
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS)

Attorneys:
Jonathan Block

Case Status:
On-going

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Mariano Lake Uranium Mine Superfund Site [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Mariano Lake (Eastern Agency)

Issues:

Help a grassroots group in Mariano Lake Chapter to participate in the U.S. EPA process for designating the Mariano Lake abandoned uranium mine as a Superfund site.



Latest News:
Case Initiation Date:
October 2011

Clients/Partners:
Mariano Lake citizens

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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