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WQCC approves Dairy Rule comprimise

The commission voted unanimously to approve the Dairy Rule…“This settlement is unique in that the environmental coalition we represent initiated discussions with the dairy industry,” New Mexico Environmental Law Center staff attorney Jon Block said in a statement. “We came up with a set of agreed-upon changes to the rules that they can live with and, we think, provide the New Mexico Environment Department with the means to protect groundwater. This was a win-win situation for all concerned and this time the dairy industry has real ownership of the final rule.” New Mexico Political Report

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05/13/2015 • Back to top


Copper & Water | Attorney general, conservation groups say Appeals Court decision was off the mark

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s new brief for the Gila Resources Information Project makes the argument that if the copper industry is allowed to pollute, others will also get a pass…“The thing we’re pointing out is that the rule violates the [Water Quality Act] on its face because you have to protect places of withdrawal, and they didn’t do that,” says Olson. Santa Fe Reporter

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05/13/2015 • Back to top


New Dairy Regulations Adopted by Water Quality Control Commission

“This is a great step forward because protection of our state’s groundwater resources has never been more critical.” Dan Lorimier, Sierra Club

SANTA FE, N.M.— Today, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) unanimously voted to adopt the stipulated Dairy Rule agreement without changes. The adopted Dairy Rule – a set of groundwater discharge regulations for dairy operations - is the direct result of community groups calling out the State to do a better job of regulating the state’s dairies, and the dairy operators to be better caretakers of the environment.

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05/12/2015 • Back to top


Bernalillo County delays decision on Santolina

Douglas Meiklejohn, an attorney for SWOP and others opposed to the master plan, argued otherwise, in part, because the county doesn’t make up a majority of the water board. “The developer is essentially asking you to make a commitment that the county will be bound by an agreement that’s negotiated not by the county, but by the city of Albuquerque,” Meiklejohn said. “That’s inappropriate. You shouldn’t agree to that.” Albuquerque Journal

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05/12/2015 • Back to top


Group Challenges Copper Mine Pollution Law

As the law stands, companies can allow toxic drainage to seep into the groundwater beneath their copper mines, as long as the pollution stays within a designated perimeter. But New Mexico Environmental Law Center director Douglas Meiklejohn says that’s a violation of the state’s Water Quality Act. “There’s a great deal of groundwater that’s being polluted pursuant to this rule,” he said. “And when you consider that groundwater is the source of drinking water for 9 out of 10 people in this state, it just doesn’t make any sense.” KUNM

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05/11/2015 • Back to top


Water Protection Groups Challenge Copper Rule

“If the Copper Rule stands, what’s to keep other operations like industrial dairies, uranium mines and Los Alamos National Laboratory from getting the same thing?”  Douglas Meiklejohn, NMELC Executive Director

SANTA FE, N.M.— Today, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) filed a petition with the New Mexico Supreme Court seeking reversal of the Court of Appeals’ Opinion upholding the validity of the Copper Rule, which regulates discharges from copper mines. The petition asks the Supreme Court to take up a number of questions including: Does the Copper Rules violate the New Mexico Water Quality Act by permitting water pollution rather than preventing or abating it?

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05/09/2015 • Back to top


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