SANTA FE, N.M.—The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) is disappointed by and concerned about the May 7th ruling by two Judges of the Court of Appeals denying a stay of the Copper Mine Rule. The ruling means that copper mine companies may continue to pollute groundwater while the validity of the rule is being challenged - which can take a year or more.
Douglas Meiklejohn, Executive Director and attorney with the NMELC, stated that the Court’s ruling is just preliminary. “Contrary to the assertions of state officials, the ruling does not determine the merits of the appeal. We requested the Court to delay implementing the rule until it determined whether the rule violated state law.”
The Copper Rule regulates discharges into groundwater and was enacted at the request of the global copper mining corporation Freeport-McMoRan, which owns three copper mining complexes in New Mexico.
“We are confident,” says Meiklejohn, “that the Rule does indeed violate state law because it permits copper mines to permanently pollute ground water.”
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New Mexico Environmental Law Center
505-989-9022, ext. 14