UPDATES


EPA budget cuts threaten to slow uranium cleanup at Navajo Nation

“Administrator Pruitt is committed to leading the EPA in a more effective, more focused, less costly way as we partner with states to fulfill the agency’s core mission,” an agency spokesman said. Pruitt has made it clear he wants to delegate more responsibilities to state and local governments for enforcement and cleanup.

But Eric Jantz, an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center who represents the Red Water Pond Road community, said it’s “pure fantasy” for the EPA to shift greater responsibility to states and tribes while simultaneously slashing funding. RevealNews.org

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08/21/2017 • Back to top


Augustin Plains Ranch order released, meetings scheduled on controversial water project

Now in its third iteration, the application is pending before the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, which administers the state’s water resources. In July, the state agency canceled a pre-hearing meeting. But last week, it released the application’s scheduling order, which includes information about the project and the process, as well as upcoming public meetings…The New Mexico Environmental Law Center represents a group opposed to the plan that includes 85 people and three landowner associations. NM Political Report

Go to NM Political Report for full story.

08/18/2017 • Back to top


Controversy Swirls Around Santolina Water Plan Delay

In the end commission newcomer, Democrat Steven Michael Quezada sided with the county’s two Republican commissioners in favor of letting the development proceed without a water agreement in place.

New Mexico Environmental Law Center attorney Jamie Park argued against letting the project go forward without a water agreement. “We were not surprised,” Park said. “We expected the board to just go ahead and do what the developers requested of it. It’s still not lawful.” KUNM

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08/16/2017 • Back to top


Santolina project given more time to prepare water plan

Despite impassioned pleas from dozens of residents, Bernalillo County commissioners are giving Santolina developers more time to provide a water plan for the 21-square-mile development southwest of Interstate 40 and 118th Street…

Jaimie Park, an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, who argued on behalf of SouthWest Organizing Project and the other Santolina opponents, told commissioners that if they agreed to the amendments they would essentially be undermining their own ability to assess whether the water plan they come up with complies with the requirements and they would be eliminating the public’s right to provide public comment and testimony because the water issues would be handled at an administrative level. Albuquerque Journal

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08/16/2017 • Back to top


Special Hearing on Santolina Despite Unanswered Questions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bernalillo County Commission (BCC) will hold a special hearing on Tuesday, August 15 to consider several issues concerning the Santolina mega-development proposed west of Albuquerque.

This “Level B” process marks the last time under the county’s Planned Communities Criteria process that the BCC will be able to consider—or the public will be able to weigh in on—this part of largest development ever proposed for the county.

WHAT:  Bernalillo County Commission Hearing on Santolina development
WHEN:  Tuesday, August 15 at 5:00 pm. (To be continued on August 30 if necessary).
WHERE:  Vincent E. Griego Chambers, City/County Building, One Civic Plaza, NW [Map]

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08/14/2017 • Back to top


Pipeline plan exposes dated water laws

The New Mexico State Engineer’s Office has denied the request twice before on the grounds that there was no buyer to put the water to beneficial use, but the ranch is back for a third try, this time before a new state engineer.

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is representing local ranchers and the Gila Conservation Coalition, which oppose the plan. Tribal governments, federal agencies, acequia associations and local governments in Socorro and Catron counties have also formally opposed the project, according to NM Political Report. Las Cruces Sun-News

Go to Las Cruces Sun-News for full story.

08/11/2017 • Back to top


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