NM Environment Department violates Advisory Committee process for dairy rule meetings

NMED and industry agree to separate meetings excluding community and environmental groups

SANTA FE, N.M.— In a move that may violate New Mexico law, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) plans to hold closed door meetings with dairy industry groups who have petitioned the Martinez Administration to withdraw pollution safeguards for the protection of drinking water.

Instead of following legal requirements, NMED has announced plans to hold exclusive and separate Advisory Committee meetings with the dairy industry and the Citizen Coalition - a coalition of environmental and community groups that support the current dairy rules.

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05/14/2014 • Back to top

Court of Appeals Ruling does not decide merits of Copper Rule case

SANTA FE, N.M.—The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) is disappointed by and concerned about the May 7th ruling by two Judges of the Court of Appeals denying a stay of the Copper Mine Rule. The ruling means that copper mine companies may continue to pollute groundwater while the validity of the rule is being challenged - which can take a year or more.

Douglas Meiklejohn, Executive Director and attorney with the NMELC, stated that the Court’s ruling is just preliminary. “Contrary to the assertions of state officials, the ruling does not determine the merits of the appeal. We requested the Court to delay implementing the rule until it determined whether the rule violated state law.”

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05/11/2014 • Back to top

New Mexico Governor Martinez Accused of “Wholesale Disregard of the Law”

According to this source, the Martinez administration is “very friendly to the copper, dairy, and oil and gas industries,” and said that state workers working to safeguard groundwater quality were pushed out, “the industry basically stepped in and could do anything they wanted, and basically wrote the rules for themselves,” and that this is “still going on today.” thruthout

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05/06/2014 • Back to top

Don Goldman, ally and friend

Don GoldmanNew Mexico’s communities and environment lost an important friend and ally recently when Don Goldman passed away. 

For many years, Don and his wife Lorraine have been concerned about and worked for protection of the environment and the rights of communities, among other causes.

Don did research and wrote articles for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, and he assisted us with legislation by tracking bills during the session.  Don’s commitment to protect New Mexico’s communities and environment, coupled with his wonderful enthusiasm and sense of humor, were a great help to our efforts, and we all will miss him.

05/01/2014 • Back to top

Environmental groups and Turner Ranch file brief on Copper Rule

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) filed a Brief-in-Chief April 9 with the New Mexico Court of Appeals asking the Court to set the Copper Rule aside, according to legal documents released by law center…“This is going to be impossible to clean up,” Frederick said. “They’re polluting a huge source of potential drinking water that could be used for agriculture or domestic use.” Silver City Sun-News

Go to Silver City Sun-News for full story.

04/22/2014 • Back to top

NM Oil Conservation Commission should work for the people, not the oil and gas industry

SANTA FE, N.M.— The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) filed its Brief in Chief today in an appeal against the 2013 amendments to the Pit Rule - a rule that regulates oil and gas operation waste pits. The NMELC argues that the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) re-wrote the previous, more environmentally protective Pit Rule solely to increase oil and gas companies’ profits. The NMELC requests the State Court of Appeals to throw out the 2013 Pit Rule on behalf of client, Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP).

“The OCC heard identical testimony and evidence in the Pit Rule hearings of 2008 and 2013,” says Eric Jantz, NMELC Staff Attorney. “In 2008, the OCC adopted a Pit Rule that protected public health and groundwater resources for all of New Mexico. In 2013, the OCC removed nearly all of these protections for no other discernible reason than to maximize oil and gas corporate profits. This Commission was created to regulate the oil and gas industry and protect the environment - not protect industry profits.”

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04/21/2014 • Back to top

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