Advocates Get Chance to Shine Light on Racism in South Valley

“This hearing will finally give our clients the opportunity to shine a bright light on the environmental racism happening here.”
Eric Jantz, NMELC Staff Attorney

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Last week, the Albuquerque Air Quality Control Board rejected a motion from the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (EHD) for summary judgment on an air permit retroactively granted to a gasoline distribution depot. The Honstein Oil Co. fuel depot had been operating in the San Jose neighborhood for decades without an air permit. EHD urged the Board to decide the community members’ appeal of the air permit in a “paper trial,” rather than allowing the community to present evidence about the health impacts of air pollution from Honstein’s operation and other air pollution sources. (visit case page)

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07/08/2015 • Back to top

Next obstacle for Santolina: Court

While the Bernalillo County Commission recently approved three large measures advancing the Santolina planned development, opponents aren’t giving up…During hearings before the votes, attorney Douglas Meiklejohn asked De La Cruz and Johnson to recuse themselves for these reasons. Yet both refused to do so, arguing that they were voting in a legislative matter which allowed them to express opinions about it. County attorneys also made similar arguments. New Mexico Political Report

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07/07/2015 • Back to top

Why won’t Bernalillo County protect the health of San Jose neighborhood residents?

“It sends a message to the San Jose community that their lives don’t matter as much as those in non-minority and more affluent neighborhoods.”
Eric Jantz, NMELC Staff Attorney

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— On Tuesday, June 30th, oral arguments will be heard before the Albuquerque Air Quality Control Board over an air permit granted to a decades old gasoline distribution depot operating in the San Jose neighborhood of Albuquerque. The Environmental Health Division (EHD) granted Honstein Oil Co.’s permit application in June 2014, without considering the cumulative impacts of air pollution sources on public health and property. The permit allows the plant to emit 2.26 tons of volatile organic compounds per year. Get Fact Sheet

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06/29/2015 • Back to top

Santolina development agreement will undermine power to protect county residents

I’d like to address several specific provisions of the development agreement. Santolina public comment

First, the development agreement really doesn’t commit the developer to almost anything. If you look at two very specific important provisions – one is the jobs-to-housing ratio and the other is the no-net expense requirement. The jobs-to-housing ratio, there’s been a lot of talk about that table that’s on page 4, but there’s no indication anywhere in the agreement that, in fact, the developer has to meet the numbers in that table.

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06/17/2015 • Back to top

Santolina master plan approved; legal challenges ahead

Yet a coalition of advocacy groups opposing the Santolina development promise to challenge the county’s actions. Javier Benavidez, executive director of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), told reporters that the county commission’s shaky process of approving the project opens up many legal challenges.  “It’s definitely not the end of the road,” Benavidez said. New Mexico Political Report

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06/17/2015 • Back to top

Attorney general seeks review of appeals court ruling on regulations of copper mine pollution

“The copper rule flies in the face of the Water Quality Act,” said Douglas Meiklejohn, a New Mexico Environmental Law Center attorney representing the advocacy groups. “(The act) says that the Water Quality Control Commission must make regulations ‘to prevent or abate’ water pollution. This doesn’t do that. This allows water pollution.” TribTown.com

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06/14/2015 • Back to top

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