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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New Mexico Oil and Gas Pit Regulation Change [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

Advocate for language that would allow for the improved regulation of discharges from oil and gas wells.



Latest News:

02/18/09 - Press Release: Governor Bill Richardson Proposes Modifications to New Mexico’s Oil Field Pit Rule

07/2008 - The New Mexico oil and gas industry is suing to overturn it NM District Court (See New Mexico Oil and Gas Pit Regulation appeal)

06/2008 - Some requirements of the Pit Rule:

  • All temporary disposal pits must be permitted by the State, and all pits must have heavy-duty liners.
  • Drillers must use “closed-loop” tanks near water resources, rather than storing wastes in open pits that can leak into nearby wells, rivers or groundwater.
  • A significant amount of contamination must be hauled to licensed disposal sites; waste disposed of on-site must meet groundwater quality standards before being buried.
Case Initiation Date:
2007

Clients/Partners:
Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP)

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
COMPLETED - Stringent regulations adopted June 2008.

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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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Rio Bonito Water Rights Case - Capitan/ Ruidoso Water Transfer [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Rio Bonito Valley (Lincoln County)

Issues:

Prevent Capitan from speculative lease of water to Ruidoso, to detriment of acequia farmers in valley and surface flows of Rio Bonito.



Latest News:

11/10/2016 - Application withdrawn.

11/14/2013 - Villages of Ruidoso and Capitan filed a motion to lift the stay and return this case to litigation. Parties were unable to implement the settlement.

08/03/2009 - Currently in settlement discussions. Lease application hearing has been stayed indefinitely.

06/19/2009 - Lease application hearing by the Villages of Ruidoso and Capitan to lease water rights from Capitan to Ruidoso is scheduled for July 28th in Roswell, NM.

05/14/2009 - Filed Motion for Clarification, Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Entry of Appearance.

Case Initiation Date:
April 2009

Clients/Partners:
Rio Bonito Preserve

Attorneys:
Jon Block

Case Status:
CLOSED - Application was withdrawn

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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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Roca Honda USFS Plan of Operations/ NEPA Process [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Mt. Taylor

Issues:

Participate in United State’s Forest Service’s (USFS) proceeding concerning consideration of Strathmore’s Plan of Operations for Roca Honda mine.



Latest News:

06/13/2013 - NMELC files comments with the U. S. Forest Service on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Roca Honda uranium mine. Read press release.

06/12/2013 - The US Environmental Protection Agency files comments on Roca Honda uranium mine Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

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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Santolina Proposed Development [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Albuquerque, NM

Issues:

The Law Center represents community groups in their effort to prevent approval for a 90,000+ person planned development proposed for the west side of Albuquerque. The Santolina development, which must be approved by the Bernalillo County Commission, would require nearly 20 million gallons of water per day, at least 20 schools, and two interchanges on I-40. Experts assert that the development will draw natural and financial resources away from other neighborhoods in Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque, and will cause taxes to be raised for everyone in the region.



Latest News:

03/08/2017 - NMELC files Response in Opposition to Santolina Developers Motion to Revise Conditions and files Response in Opposition to and Motion to Dismiss Developers Appeal.

01/25/2017 - NMELC files amended appeal of recommendation to approve Santolina Level B.1 plan

11/22/2016 - District Court Judge Franchini issues order denying motion to dismiss appeal.

05/04/2016 - NMELC files Brief Addressing the Filing of their First Amended Notice of Appeal

03/17/2016 - NMELC files Reply to Bernalillo County Response to Statement of Appellate Issues.

12/21/2015 - NMELC files Statement of Appellate Issues.

06/26/2015 - NMELC files Notice of Appeal against Commission’s approval of zone change.

06/08/2015 - NMELC files Comments on Draft Development Agreement and on Findings and Conditions of Proposed Development.

05/27/2015 - NMELC files Notice of Appeal against Commission’s denial of clients appeal.

05/11/2015 - The County Commission denied our clients’ appeal of the Master Plan by a vote of 3 to 2. The hearing is scheduled to resume on May 28, 2015.

05/07/2015 - NMELC files Motion to Postpone hearing scheduled for May 11, 2015.

03/25/2015 - Public hearing in Albuquerque on master plan.

03/24/2015 - NMELC files Motion for Recusal and Disqualification

12/29/2014 - Law Center files amended appeals of the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the County Commission approve the proposed master plan and of the Planning Commission’s approval of the zone map change.

Case Initiation Date:
December 2014

Clients/Partners:
SouthWest Organizing Project, New Mexico Health Equity Working Group, Pajarito Village Association

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn, Jaimie Park

Case Status:
On-going

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Sunport Proposed Highway Expansion [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
South Valley of Albuquerque

Issues:

NMELC is representing SWOP and two individuals in opposition to the the proposed highway expansion. Clients live in the San Jose community and would receive the greatest potential adverse impacts of the project. The project will run from the Sunport exit off I-25 west to the Bosque and Rio Grande.



Latest News:

9/21/2015 - NMELC filed comments on the revised Environmental Assessment [“EA”].

Case Initiation Date:
September 2015

Clients/Partners:
SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) and individuals

Attorneys:
Jon Block

Case Status:
On-going

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