NMELC IN THE PRESS


Kirtland cleanup effort faces lawsuit claiming ‘glacial pace’

Notice of an intent to sue the Air Force for dragging its feet in the Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill cleanup was filed Monday by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, prompting strong defenses of the project’s progress by the state Environment Department and the Air Force…“The Air Force is not seriously considering public input on the cleanup plan, has no enforceable benchmarks or deadlines for remediation, and is not overseen by an independent regulator,” said Douglas Meiklejohn, executive director of the NMELC and lead counsel in the case. Albuquerque Journal

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/17/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Official: Progress made to reign in jet fuel contamination

The head of the New Mexico Environment Department says a massive plume of jet fuel at the edge of Albuquerque is shrinking…But two state senators and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center say progress has been too slow. They’re threatening a lawsuit. KRQE News 13

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/17/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Air Force faces suit over jet fuel spill

Residents of New Mexico announced their intention to sue the U.S. Air Force over the massive jet fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base. “The Air Force is not seriously considering public input on the cleanup plan, has no enforceable benchmarks or deadlines for remediation, and is not overseen by an independent regulator,” NMELC Executive Director Douglas Meiklejohn said. “Efforts to address the spill so far have consisted of wastefully overspending on research instead of making progress on actual cleanup.” New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/16/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Secretary’s Copper Rule campaign riles opponents

Siwik argued that the opposition to the Copper Rule in Grant County extends far beyond the few individuals working in her organization. She cited a Silver City public meeting in May, at which “the vast majority of people spoke out against [the Copper Rule]...All of the people who spoke in favor of the rule were Freeport employees, contractors or grantees,” Siwik said. “People in Grant County care about our environment; they care about this issue. Who is going to live here if we don’t have clean water?” Silver City Daily Press

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/16/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Feds Worry Power Giant Will Ditch Mine Cleanup

The back and forth in bankruptcy court highlights the difficulties of holding shape-shifting companies responsible for pollution that often stays put…So much uranium waste still litters the region, Jantz said, because mining companies so often changed hands — or simply went under — after unearthing tons of the silvery-white metal, requiring intense corporate forensic work to hold anyone accountable.

“That’s sort of the SOP — the standard operating procedures — for a lot of the uranium miners in this industry,” he said. “This confusion is often by design in order to avoid liability.” Texas Tribune

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/06/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Mining Rule May Harm Groundwater

Since the rule went into effect over two years ago, opponents say the measure has allowed mine owners Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold to pollute areas surrounding their mines with impunity, violating New Mexico’s Water Quality Act. Weekly Alibi

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Posted by Juana Colon on 11/04/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Infrastructure upgrades anticipate industry rebound

“The new state energy plan is really a pretty regressive policy that relies heavily on fossil fuels,” said Eric Jantz, staff attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center in Santa Fe. “With new infrastructure like pipelines, there’s always a near guarantee of leaks, spills and possible explosions throughout the length of the lines. These are dangerous undertakings.” Albuquerque Journal

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/26/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Human Rights Commission Focuses On Access To Clean Water

Edith Hood, a village leader, will testify before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to say residents are unhappy with the federal government’s cleanup plan. The commission is charged with enforcing an international treaty ratified by the U.S. that protects basic human rights. This is the commission’s first hearing focused on access to clean drinking water, according to Eric Jantz with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Fronteras

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/23/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Environmental group seeks repeal of Copper Rule

“As communities throughout the state are confronted by the critical impacts of long-term drought, it is irresponsible to allow mining companies to pollute groundwater that is needed by everyone,” says Allyson Siwik, GRIP Executive Director.

“This is a precedent setting case and the New Mexico Supreme Court needs to restore the integrity of our Water Quality Act so that it protects groundwater for all of us,” Siwik said. Silver City Sun-News

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/21/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Copper Rule opponents file brief with state Supreme Court

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center announced Monday afternoon that they filed a brief with the New Mexico Supreme Court calling on the court to set aside the controversial rule…“The Rule violates the Water Quality Act because it imposes no limit on the magnitude, extent, or duration of the pollution discharged by copper mines,” says, NMELC Executive Director. NM Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/20/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Brief Filed With NM Supreme Court: Repeal Copper Rule, Protect Groundwater

“The Court’s resolution of this appeal will determine whether the copper industry can pollute ground water as a matter of right,” says Meiklejohn, “and whether the Water Quality Control Commission and New Mexico Environment Department have a duty under the Act to prevent water pollution and protect our limited ground water supplies for present and future use.” KWRG.org

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/20/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Groups ask New Mexico court to set aside rules governing groundwater pollution by copper mines

SANTA FE, New Mexico — Environmental groups say the New Mexico Supreme Court should set aside contested water regulations because they fail to prevent pollution by copper mines. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed a brief on behalf of its clients Monday in the case against the state’s so-called copper rule. The Republic

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/20/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


13 Years and Counting: Anatomy Of An EPA Civil Rights Investigation

The project was permitted by the state in 2002. Three years later, the EPA agreed to investigate Reade’s claims. Then: silence, for nine years… Environmental injustice “definitely exists in New Mexico,” Meiklejohn said. “It’s an issue because the state laws and state regulations don’t protect politically powerless people.” NBCNews.com

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Posted by Juana Colon on 08/11/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


Santolina opponents file lawsuit against zoning change decision

The lawsuit was filed by Meiklejohn in the New Mexico Second Judicial District Court on behalf of the SouthWest Organizing Project, the New Mexico Health Equity Working Group, the Pajarito Village Association, and three individuals. Those that filed the lawsuit argue the two commissioners had already made up their minds on approving Santolina before a vote, which they say violated the county’s due process requirements. Albuquerque Business First

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Posted by Juana Colon on 07/08/2015 • PermalinkBack 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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Posted by Juana Colon on 07/07/2015 • PermalinkBack to top


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