NMELC Press Releases


This is the archive of the latest press releases from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Feel free to redistribute. We have an RSS feed for keeping up to date on NMELC's work. Sign up by clicking the orange RSS icon on the right side of the navigation bar, above.

New Mexico’s Land and Water Face Challenge from the Oil and Gas Industry

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO - Three organizations announced today their opposition to a state plan to weaken a hard-fought water and land protection rule. On February 18, Governor Richardson announced he was directing the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to work with industry to develop amendments that would save them the cost of compliance to the recently amended Pit Rule.

A Joint Release from New Mexico Citizens for Clean Air and Water, New Mexico Environmental Law Center and EARTHWORKS’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project

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Posted by Juana Colon on 03/31/2009 • PermalinkBack to top

Enviro Groups Push for Better Regs to Protect Groundwater from Exploratory Mining Wells

New Mexico Environmental Law Center, representing its clients Amigos Bravos and Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP), will present testimony on March 23rd to support strengthening New Mexico’s mining exploration permitting regulations in order to protect groundwater from contamination caused by mining exploration wells.

The hearing is open to the public.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 03/18/2009 • PermalinkBack to top

NM Grant County Groundwater Supplies Protected Today

The Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP) and Law Center today hailed state regulators for placing valuable New Mexican groundwater supplies ahead of Freeport-McMoRan mining company’s profits at its Tyrone copper mine in Grant County.

The company argued that groundwater supplies under the Tyrone mine site are not required to be protected under the Water Quality Act. The Water Quality Control Commission unequivocally rejected that land ownership and control of the land surface are relevant to determining whether groundwater will be used in the future.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 01/13/2009 • PermalinkBack to top

ENDANGERED Culture: The Galisteo Basin as seen by 28 Photographers

Photo-Eye Gallery and The Galisteo Basin Photography Project present a benefit exhibition and print sale in support of the preservation of the Galisteo Basin. The mission of the Project, is to raise public awareness of what may be irretrievably lost if the Galisteo Basin is allowed to become an oil and gas production field. Find out more

Opening Friday, January 23rd, 2009 5-7pm. The exhibition continues through March 7th.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 01/08/2009 • PermalinkBack to top

NM Group Calls for Urgent Action on Global Warming

New Energy Economy has petitioned the state Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) to adopt new regulations that would dramatically reduce global warming pollution over the next decade.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 01/03/2009 • PermalinkBack to top

Justice is Sweet

SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico Environmental Law Center introduces the Justice Bar this week, just in time for the holidays and perfect for stocking stuffers. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is one of the oldest and most respected independent non-profit environmental groups in New Mexico.

These delicious chocolate bars will help protect the beautiful vistas and diverse communities of New Mexico because 100% of the net proceeds from Justice Bars go to the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico’s only not-for-profit environmental justice law firm. The beautiful landscape photographs of New Mexico on the labels were donated by John Vavruska and remind chocolate lovers of what is at stake.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 12/18/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

Cost Analysis of Uranium Mining in New Mexico Shows No Economic Boon

In a response to the industry’s exaggerated claims that renewed uranium mining would be a multi-billion dollar economic bonanza for New Mexico and the Grants area, the Law Center commissioned Dr. Thomas M. Power to evaluate the true economic impacts of uranium mining in New Mexico. The result is the only independently reviewed analysis of the subject in New Mexico entitled An Economic Evaluation of a Renewed Uranium Mining Boom in New Mexico.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 10/28/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

Law Center and Citizens Defeat Water Grab

On September 17, 2008, Broe Land and Acquisitions, Inc. LLC (Broe) filed a notice that it was withdrawing all of its applications for water rights that are currently pending before the State Engineer. Broe, a Denver corporation specializing in real estate speculation, had filed a total of 16 water rights applications to appropriate thousands of acre-feet of groundwater per year from the Gallup underground water basin in Catron County.

Broe’s decision to withdraw resulted from a motion filed by New Mexico Environmental Law Center (the Law Center) staff attorney Bruce Frederick on behalf of its clients. Frederick argued that the appropriation would have violated state law that requires water rights be owned by the same entity that owns the land. Broe’s water rights applications violated this law because the company would have ended up owning water rights to land owned by the State of New Mexico.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/22/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

NRC Takes Public Comment on Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In Situ Leach Uranium Mining

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Due to the large number of permit applications the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received for new uranium mining in the West, the NRC has proposed the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft GEIS) for In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium mining to quicken the approval process, but the Draft GEIS fails to address the site-specific issues that would affect each proposed mining location, particularly with respect to the possible contamination of groundwater. The Draft GEIS also completely fails to address the cumulative impacts of new ISL mining combined with pollution from past uranium mining and milling. 

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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/09/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

A Man with Answers to Global Warming and the Global Energy Crisis

“We can solve the problems of oil imports, nuclear proliferation as it is linked to nuclear power, and carbon dioxide emissions simultaneously if we are bold enough.” Dr. Arjun Makhijani

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and author of Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, will share his visionary solution to the three-fold global energy crisis of climate disruption, oil insecurity and nuclear proliferation in a talk at the UNM Law School on September 18th, 2008.

Dr. Makhijani will discuss the real steps that the U.S. can take to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2060; and how it can achieve that goal without nuclear power. This is a free event.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 09/04/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

Drinking Water Protected from Mine in Southern New Mexico

Silver City, NM - The Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP) and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center have won a five-year fight against Chino Mine‟s proposal to dilute contaminated water with clean groundwater rather than use more effective treatment technology. GRIP and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center announced today they have reached a settlement with the mine. Chino is now required to use an advanced form of reverse osmosis to remove metals and sulfates from the wastewater it will produce for hundreds of years after mining stops at the site.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 06/29/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

Expert Panel Answers Questions on Oil and Gas Drilling

Santa Fe, New Mexico - A panel of experts will give a presentation on the legal, economic and social issues and the health impact of oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe County Tuesday, May 20, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Universalist Church, l07 West Barcelona Road, Santa Fe. Four nationally recognized experts will present the facts on how landowners and residents have been impacted by environmental toxics associated with the oil and gas development activities in their area.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/15/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

Navajos Vow Fight Against New Uranium Mines

Apr. 19, 2008 - Santa Fe, New Mexico — For the first time in United States history, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be challenged in Federal appeals court for its approval of a source materials license for an in situ leach uranium mine.

The Navajo communities of Crownpoint and Church Rock, New Mexico, with the assistance of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), Eastern Navajo Dine against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) and Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) will fight the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Hydro Resources, Inc., demanding that they stay off of Navajo lands in New Mexico. NMELC will present oral arguments on May 12 to a panel of Federal judges in Denver asking that the NRC decision to allow mining be set aside.

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Posted by Administrator on 04/19/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

Clovis Community Stops ConAgra Trade Group’s Plans for Ethanol Plant

Clovis, NM – In a victory for communities everywhere, three Clovis groups have forced the giant ConAgra Trade Group to withdraw its application for an air quality permit for a proposed 110 million gallon per year ethanol plant that would have been sited near their residential neighborhood.

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Posted by Juana Colon on 01/22/2008 • PermalinkBack to top

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