NMELCs Energy and Climate Change Cases.

CASES — ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE


Cases are arranged alphabetically, with the exception of affiliated case groupings. The simplest method to find a particular case is to use our search feature, at the top of the page.


Mora County Oil and Gas Fracking Ban [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Mora County

Issues:

Defend Mora County against legal challenges to the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Law, the first county level ordinance to ban all oil and gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing. The ban was adopted on April 29, 2013.



Latest News:

4/14/2015 - District court dismisses case without prejudice.

12/15/2014 - NMELC files memo in opposition to motion for summary judgement

12/03/2013 - NMELC files Answer Brief for clients.

11/2013 - Suit filed against Mora County Commissioners’ adoption of fracking ban.

Case Initiation Date:
Nov. 2013

Clients/Partners:
Mora County Board of Commissioners

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
CLOSED

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New Mexico Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”) Disclosure Regulation [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

NMELC will advocate that environmental and landowner protections be included in oil and gas industry-sponsored regulations for disclosure of fracking fluids.  The proposed regulations require drilling companies to report some of their fracking fluids within 45 days after they inject the chemicals underground to facilitate natural gas extraction.



Latest News:

The Oil Conservation Commission, with a majority of commissioners appointed by Governor Susana Martinez, adopted the industry-sponsored regulations in December 2011.  After hearing testimony from OGAP, they made one change: in addition to posting their non-proprietary chemicals to fracfocus.com, drilling companies will have to file their disclosure reports with the Oil Conservation Division.  This will give residents who do not have internet access the ability to see reports at Division field offices.

These regulations are weaker than disclosure regulations recently adopted in Colorado, Texas and Wyoming.

Case Initiation Date:
November 2011

Clients/Partners:
Earthworks' Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP)

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn

Case Status:
CLOSED: The Oil Conservation Commission adopted industry proposed regulations with only minor changes.

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New Mexico Oil and Gas Pit Regulation Change [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

Advocate for language that would allow for the improved regulation of discharges from oil and gas wells.



Latest News:

02/18/09 - Press Release: Governor Bill Richardson Proposes Modifications to New Mexico’s Oil Field Pit Rule

07/2008 - The New Mexico oil and gas industry is suing to overturn it NM District Court (See New Mexico Oil and Gas Pit Regulation appeal)

06/2008 - Some requirements of the Pit Rule:

  • All temporary disposal pits must be permitted by the State, and all pits must have heavy-duty liners.
  • Drillers must use “closed-loop” tanks near water resources, rather than storing wastes in open pits that can leak into nearby wells, rivers or groundwater.
  • A significant amount of contamination must be hauled to licensed disposal sites; waste disposed of on-site must meet groundwater quality standards before being buried.
Case Initiation Date:
2007

Clients/Partners:
Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP)

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
COMPLETED - Stringent regulations adopted June 2008.

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NM Construction Industries Commission Repeal of Energy Efficient Building Codes [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Statewide

Issues:

Appealing the repeal of three building codes and amendment of a fourth by the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission. The codes included the Energy Conservation Code adopted in 2010, would have required new construction to be 20% more energy efficient than was required previously. The codes were developed through a collaborative process that included the construction industry, public-interest groups, and regulators. In terms of conserving energy, these four codes were the best standards of their kind in the United States.



Latest News:

10/27/2014 - NMELC files petition with the NM Supreme Court to review Court of Appeals decision

09/25/2014 - Court of Appeals upholds Commission

04/09/2014 - Reply Brief filed

12/27/2013 - NMELC files new appeal.

07/15/2013 - NMELC files Docketing Statement in appeal.

05/30/2013 - The NM Court of Appeals issues orders on Request for Rehearing and Clarification, and Contempt Motion.

05/21/2013 - NMELC files Response to Notice of Completion.

05/20/2013 - May 22nd Court of Appeals hearing canceled.

05/13/2013 - New Mexico Court of Appeals sets hearing for Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 2 pm in Albuquerque.

05/03/2013 - NMELC files response to the Appellees’ Motion for Rehearing and Clarification

04/11/2013 - NMELC files Motion in the Court of Appeals for an order holding the New Mexico Construction Industries Division in contempt for its failure to comply with the Court of Appeals’ April 4th order.

04/05/2013 - The NM Court of Appeals rules that the Construction Industries Commission’s June 10, 2011 adoption of the revisions to the building codes are to be rolled back to the codes that were in place previously. (Read press release)

05/09/2012 - NMELC files Appellant’s Final Reply Brief in building codes appeal.

01/19/2012 - NMELC files Appellant’s Brief in Chief.

07/11/2011 - NMELC files an appeal in the State Court of Appeals for its clients.

Case Initiation Date:
July 2011

Clients/Partners:
Sundancer Creations Custom Builders, Environment New Mexico, e-Solved, Inc., and several individuals

Attorneys:
Douglas Meiklejohn

Case Status:
On-going

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ISL GEIS [Click to view entire case file.]
Location:
Western US

Issues:

We represent our clients in an effort to prevent the NRC from issuing a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for new in situ leach (ISL) uranium mining in Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. If approved, the NRC would apply the document to every proposed ISL minesite in those four states, rather than conducting site-specific environmental impact statements.  A Generic EIS would limit public participation in licensing proceedings, and would reduce the type of studies required at each site.  The agency issued a 500-page Draft Generic EIS in July 2008. In August 2008, we successfully petitioned the agency to extend its public comment period by 60 days.  During that time, we conducted an in-depth legal and technical review of the document, and submitted comments in November 2008, with national groups and groups from California, New Mexico and South Dakota signing on.



Latest News:

06/04/2009 - NRC Issues Final Environmental Report on Uranium Recovery Operations, Announces Change in Review Approach Go to press release

11/07/2008 - Comments Submitted on Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities on behalf of SRIC, BVDA, ENDAUM and the Haaku Water Office of the Acoma Pueblo, and with the support of other organizations and individuals.

Case Initiation Date:
July 2007

Clients/Partners:
SRIC and ENDAUM

Attorneys:
Eric Jantz

Case Status:
On-going

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