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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McKinley County Moratorium on Uranium Mining [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
McKinley County, NM

Issues:

Help develop and advocate for a moratorium on new uranium mining in McKinley County.



Latest News:

2/27/2017 - Country responds to Notice letter.

02/13/2017 - NMELC files Notice of Intent to Sue over Open Meetings Act violations.

Case Initiation Date:
August 2013

Clients/Partners:
Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM), Red Water Pond Road Community Association

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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Moore Ranch ISL Mine (proposed) [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Wyoming (east)

Issues:

Comment on Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) issued by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Moor Ranch. SEIS utilizes the Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS).



Latest News:

03/04/2010 - Law Center files comments on the SEIS that was issued by the NRC.

Case Initiation Date:
December 2009

Clients/Partners:
Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC)

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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Mount Taylor Standby Permit [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Mt. Taylor region, near Grants, NM

Issues:

Rio Grande Resources, has applied to the NM Mining and Minerals Division for a fourth standby permit renewal for the inactive Mt. Taylor Mine.  A standby permit allows the mine operator to let the mine remain inactive without having to do any reclamation (clean up). The permit lasts for 5 years. Our clients are challenging the permit application because we believe RGR must do some reclamation rather than leave the mine as is for another five years.



Latest News:

08/27/2013 - Order filed vacating NM Mining Commission’s order and certifying case to Court of Appeals

05/29/2013 - NMELC files a reply to the Commission’s Response to Appellants’ Statement of Issues.

05/10/2013 - NMELC files Request for Hearing. Read press release.

01/24/2013 - Received public notice for Mining and Mineral Division’s review of Rio Grande Resources’ closeout plan and financial assurance.

01/02/2013 - Filed Reply to Rio Grande Resources Corp. Response to Appellate Issues.

12/27/2012 - Filed Reply to NM Mining Commission’s Response and Reply to NM Mining and Minerals Division’s Response to Appellate Issues.

10/22/2012 - Filed Statement of Appellate Issues.

09/20/2012 - NMELC files Appellants’ Motion to Certify Appeal.

01/31/2012 - The NM Mining and Minerals Division Director, Fernando Martinez, approved a 5 year standby permit for the Mt. Taylor Mine. The standby permit will allow Rio Grande Resources to avoid reclaiming the waste piles at the mine site, which have led to groundwater being contaminated with uranium.  The Law Center’s clients are considering whether to appeal Mr. Martinez’s decision. 

09/01/2011 - NMELC files a post hearing submission comments.

08/17/2011 - Public hearing held at the Cibola County Convention Center, in Grants, NM.

05/30/2011 - Public hearing to be held this summer.

08/05/2009 - Client submitted comments on the proposed ground water discharge permit. Currently waiting on response from the New Mexico Environment Department’s Ground Water Bureau.

06/05/2009 - Mount Taylor was permanently listed in the State Register of Cultural Properties by the Cultural Properties Review Committee. To view the final nomination, a map showing the guardian peaks used to establish the TCP boundaries and other related materials, please visit the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division website.

Case Initiation Date:
July 2009

Clients/Partners:
Amigos Bravos and Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE)

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz, Jaimie Park

Case Status:
On-going

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New Mexico Copper Mine Groundwater Regulations [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

Advocate for environmental protections to be included in New Mexico’s copper mine groundwater regulations.



Latest News:

03/07/2016 - Reply Brief filed with the NM Supreme Court

10/19/2015 - Brief in Chief filed with NM Supreme Court

06/13/2015 - NM Supreme court grants review of Copper Rule

05/08/2015 - NMELC files Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the New Mexico Supreme Court

04/08/2015 - Court of Appeals uphold Copper Rule.

04/09/2014 - NMELC files Brief in Chief with Court of Appeals.

02/19/2014 - NMELC files Motion for Stay of Copper Rule and Brief in Support of Stay with the NM Court of Appeals.

12/13/2013 - NMELC files Reply in Support of staying Copper Rule with WQCC until the Court of Appeals makes its determination and a Motion to disqualify the WQCC.

12/05/2013 - The Copper Rule hearing that was scheduled for December 10th before the Water Quality Control Commission has been postponed. Please stay tuned for upcoming new schedule.

11/08/2013 - Docketing statement is filed in Appeal.

10/09/2013 - NMELC files Notice of Appeal.

09/10/2013 - WQCC adopts copper mining regulations as proposed by NMED and Freeport-McMoRan. Read press release.

08/22/2013 - Closing arguments filed.

04/09/2013 - Staff Attorney Bruce Frederick gives opening statement to the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC)

04/01/2013 - Beginning April 9th, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) will go before the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) to present its draft water quality rules for the copper mining industry. Find out more.

02/22/2013 - Notice of Intent to Present Technical Testimony filed.

12/14/2012 - NMELC filed joint Motion to Dismiss with the Water Quality Control Commission to dismiss the NMED’s proposed copper rule.

10/12/2012 - NMELC submitted comments with the New Mexico Environment Department on draft changes to the state’s copper mine regulations.

Read press release: Copper Mining Company Allowed to Write Copper Mining Regulations | Throws Out Protections for New Mexico Groundwater

Case Initiation Date:
January 2012

Clients/Partners:
Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP), Amigos Bravos, Turner Ranch Properties, L.P.

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn, Jaimie Park

Case Status:
On-going

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New Mexico Dairy Discharge Regulations [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

Represent clients at an New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) hearing to advocate for strong discharge standards for dairies. Get Fact Sheet



Latest News:

05/12/2015 - WQCC unanimously voted to adopt the stipulated Dairy Rule agreement without changes.

10/06/2014 - NMELC filed a Proposed Writ and Verified Petition for clients compelling the Water Quality Control Commission to rescind the illegal scheduling of a hearing on rules of statewide application
in Roswell, New Mexico.

09/10/2013 - WQCC agrees to hear dairy industry’s second and consolidated petition to roll back groundwater discharge regulations. WQCC will schedule the hearing in March 2014.

12/07/2012 - NMELC files Coalition’s Motion and Memorandum for Reconsideration and Dismissal of Petition.

11/19/2012 - Direct Testimony of Kathy Martin in Support of the Coalition filed with the WQCC.

11/16/2011 - WQCC adopts the proposed amendments to dairy discharge regulations.

02/14/2011 - The Coalition enters its opposition to the Motion for Stay pending appeal of the dairy rules.

01/13/2011 - The NMELC filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus for its clients in NM Supreme Court over Governor’s halt of printing of dairy discharge rule.

12/23/2010 - The dairy rule was filed with the State Records Center today. The effective date will be January 31, 2011. It is codified as 6.2.6 NMAC and will be published on Jan. 14.

12/16/2010 - The Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) passes New Mexico’s first industry-specific regulations for the dairy industry.

11/08/2010 - Coalition files Exceptions to the Hearing Officer’s Report.

08/23/2010 - Coalition files its Reasons for Decision and Conclusion on final rule with the WQCC.

06/08/2010 - Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) resumes its hearing on proposed groundwater regulations for dairies.

01/04/2010 - Currently awaiting response from the hearing officer regarding our clients Motion to Intervene in the opposing parties appeal to the Water Quality Control Commission. This hearing is scheduled for mid April 2010.

Case Initiation Date:
October 2009

Clients/Partners:
Amigos Bravos, Caballo Concerned Citizens, Citizens for Dairy Reform, Food and Water Watch, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter

Attorneys:
Jonathan Block

Case Status:
CLOSED - New protective discharge regulations adopted on May 12, 2015

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NM Construction Industries Commission Repeal of Energy Efficient Building Codes [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

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.



Latest News:

10/27/2014 - NMELC files petition with the NM Supreme Court to review Court of Appeals decision

09/25/2014 - Court of Appeals upholds Commission

04/09/2014 - Reply Brief filed

12/27/2013 - NMELC files new appeal.

07/15/2013 - NMELC files Docketing Statement in appeal.

05/30/2013 - The NM Court of Appeals issues orders on Request for Rehearing and Clarification, and Contempt Motion.

05/21/2013 - NMELC files Response to Notice of Completion.

05/20/2013 - May 22nd Court of Appeals hearing canceled.

05/13/2013 - New Mexico Court of Appeals sets hearing for Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 2 pm in Albuquerque.

05/03/2013 - NMELC files response to the Appellees’ Motion for Rehearing and Clarification

04/11/2013 - NMELC files Motion in the Court of Appeals for an order holding the New Mexico Construction Industries Division in contempt for its failure to comply with the Court of Appeals’ April 4th order.

04/05/2013 - The NM Court of Appeals rules that the Construction Industries Commission’s June 10, 2011 adoption of the revisions to the building codes are to be rolled back to the codes that were in place previously. (Read press release)

05/09/2012 - NMELC files Appellant’s Final Reply Brief in building codes appeal.

01/19/2012 - NMELC files Appellant’s Brief in Chief.

07/11/2011 - NMELC files an appeal in the State Court of Appeals for its clients.

Case Initiation Date:
July 2011

Clients/Partners:
Sundancer Creations Custom Builders, Environment New Mexico, e-Solved, Inc., and several individuals

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn

Case Status:
On-going

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Ortiz Mountains gold mine reclamation [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Santa Fe County

Issues:

Remediation of LAC gold mine in Ortiz Mountains.



Latest News:

July 2009 - We are continuing to monitor the settlement.

Case Initiation Date:
October 1992

Clients/Partners:
Friends of Santa Fe County

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn

Case Status:
On-going

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Proposed Crownpoint Uranium Mine [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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Roca Honda discharge permit [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Mt. Taylor

Issues:

Participate in New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) proceeding concerning discharge permit for Roca Honda uranium mine.



Latest News:
Case Initiation Date:
July 2009

Clients/Partners:
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE)

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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Roca Honda MMD Mining Permit [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Mt. Taylor

Issues:

Participate in first application to Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) for conventional uranium mining permit under NM Mining Act.



Latest News:

11/24/2010 - Roca Honda EIS Scoping Comment Period Open. Get PDF of notice.

Case Initiation Date:
November 2009

Clients/Partners:


Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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