Southern NM Dairies to Monitor More Wells

LAS CRUCES – Southern New Mexico residents and local dairies have agreed to place new requirements on the industry’s plan to abate groundwater contamination.

Eleven dairies milking thousands of cows operate in the vicinity of Anthony and Mesquite in Doña Ana County. Concerns about groundwater contamination from the manure associated with the dairies led to two days of hearings last week in Anthony and a proposed settlement.

Read the rest of the story at the Albuquerque Journal

03/30/2015 • Back to top

Bernalillo County Commission puts off decision on massive development

Last week, more than two hundred New Mexicans marched through downtown Albuquerque to a Bernalillo County Commission special zoning meeting. Farmers rode tractors and mothers pushed babies in strollers, part of a sea of marchers in yellow shirts who converged on the meeting to express their outrage at the Santolina development, a city-sized development proposed for the mesa top west of Albuquerque.

Rather than listen to them, the Commissioners attended to procedural matters for Wednesday’s portion of the meeting.

With disenfranchisement and at least one conflict of interest already hallmarks of this proceeding, our clients, the Southwest Organizing Project, NM Health Equity Working Group and Pajarito Village Association, are counting on the Law Center for high-quality pro bono legal representation in these legal proceedings.

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03/30/2015 • Back to top

A Quick Enviro Review of the 2015 NM Legislative Session

Whew! It was a long legislative session, but none of the dangerous environmental bills that were introduced made it into law. A huge thanks to our Law Center supporters, who helped make that possible. Foundation grants don’t support this type of work, so we rely on our members to ensure that our staff can provide critical environmental defense at the Roundhouse!

With help from our members, we were able to kill every bill we were fighting, from the ones that would have stopped counties from regulating oil and gas drilling to an effort to gut the state’s Mining Act. Follow the link to see some of the biggest threats that you helped stop in their tracks.

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03/30/2015 • Back to top

County Delays Vote on Massive Development

The Bernalillo County Commission voted on March 26th to resume its hearing on the proposed Santolina development in May. The city-sized Santolina development, slated for the west mesa overlooking Albuquerque, is promising 75,000 permanent jobs and housing for 90,000 residents.

NMELC Executive Director Douglas Meiklejohn is lead counsel on the case for the SouthWest Organizing Project, the NM Health Equity Partnership, and the Pajarito Village Association. Doug filed two motions for this hearing: a Request for Recusal and Alternative Motion for Dismissal of Bernalillo County Commissioner Art de la Cruz and a Motion to Postpone the Bernalillo County Board of County Commissioners Hearings on Appeals Concerning the Proposed Santolina Development Hearing

You can find out more about the Santolina Project at Contra Santolina’s Facebook page, or see the Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of the hearing.

03/27/2015 • Back to top

Collected Works now carrying Justice Bars

Thanks to Collected Works! On March 12, this wonderful bookstore began selling our Justice Bars - organic chocolate bars that benefit our work at the Law Center. You can find Collected Works at the corner of Galisteo and Water in downtown Santa Fe. Pick up some of your favorites today! Dark chocolate with red chile, pure dark chocolate and milk chocolate with pecans.

03/13/2015 • Back to top

HB625: Sneak Attack on NM Mining Act at Roundhouse

UPDATE: Thank you! HB625 died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee!

The New Mexico Mining Act is one of New Mexico’s most effective and revered environmental laws – and now it’s under attack. For 25 years, the Mining Act has ensured that mining corporations protect our water, clean up messes they create, and don’t foot taxpayers with billions of dollars of reclamation costs. But that may change, if the mining industry gets its way with HB 625.

Representative John Zimmerman (R-Dona Ana, Grant & Sierra) is sponsoring House Bill 625 to rollback critical safeguards in the New Mexico Mining Act that would allow mining operations to pollute our valuable groundwater. 

Key provisions of the bill:

• Remove the existing Mining Act requirement that reclamation be self sustaining and not reliant on perpetual care by mining companies.

• Allow unlimited expansion of some open pits or waste units.

• Relax “standby” requirements that could allow operators to circumvent reclamation at mining sites.

• Weaken financial assurance requirements.

HB625 is being heard by the NM House Energy Environment and Natural Resources Committee on the morning of Friday March 6 at 8:30 am in Room 309.

Download the bill:

03/05/2015 • Back to top

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