Honstein Air Permit Case Through Our Client’s Eyes

NMELC clients Esther and Steven Abeyta share how you can help fight for clean air for all:

Hello my friend,

I hope this message finds you well. The reason I am writing you today is to invite you to attend on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 (see notice) the Honstein Oil Air Permit hearing finally after four years on the appeal we filed.

A briefing on Honstein Oil. Honstein is a bulk petroleum facility in the community of San Jose located at 101 Anderson SE, right across the street from families’ residential homes. The reason it has taken four years for Steven, Juan, myself, Eric Jantz and Jon Block Attorneys with New Mexico Environmental Law Center to have a hearing in front of the Air Quality Control Board, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (EHD) has tried diligently to have the Air Quality Control Board not hear our appeal…

by filing numerous summary judgments and discoveries against us every time we were scheduled for a hearing in front of the Air Quality Control Board.  The current Air Quality Board Chair, Ms. Jane Cudney-Black in 2014 worked for and counseled Honstein Oil with their air permit application.

With the help of friends who attended the Air Quality Control Board meeting in June of 2015; where our concerns and testimonies were trivialized by the EHD and Air Quality Divisions (AQD) whose job is to protect our health, sat with the City’s attorneys and Mr. Honstein defending his company against the community’s concerns. To our surprise, the Air Quality Control Board denied EHD and AQD request for Summary Judgement – granting us a chance for a hearing to voice our concerns and present data regarding the Honstein Oil air permit.

Instead of helping a minority low income community address the air quality issues. The City’s Environmental Health Division has used over one hundred thousand of our tax dollars on a professional/technical contract with an attorney and out of state consulting company to discredit the bucket sampling and the qualified experts who have helped us by submitting testimony on the Honstein air permit. Why would EHD do that, could it be; this case may set precedence because of the bucket brigade sampling tests that found high levels of chlorobenzene in front of Honstein and around the community of San Jose, or because we are addressing cumulative impacts? 

Steven and I are asking if you are able to please attend on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Upper Level, East Complex, in the Pecos/Ruidoso meeting room at 5:00pm public comments period and speak your concerns for the quality of life for families of San Jose.

Below are some talking points you are welcome to use:

  • Honstein Oil is located in close proximity to families living right across the street. There are children playing in front of the business. The Environmental Health Department and the Air Quality Board should do something to protect the families.

  • Honstein Oil is contributing to the deterioration of air quality in San Jose.

  • Honstein Oil, petrol-chemical offloading from rail cars and Western Asphalt Refinery cumulatively and negatively impact the air quality in San Jose.

  • It does not make sense to locate Honstein Oil in a residential neighborhood that is suffering from disparate impacts from polluting industries.

  • San Jose represents 1% of City of Albuquerque’s population and this neighborhood has 29% of the city’s polluting industry.

  • Everyone always complains about not having polluting businesses in our back yard. Why are polluting industries always located in San Jose’s back yard?

  • There was an air bucket brigade that tested the air quality in San Jose and found high levels of chlorobenzene in front of Honstein Oil. This is a major reason the air permit for Honstein Oil should not be granted.

  • The Environmental Health Department and Air Quality Board main purpose is to protect the health of citizens living in Albuquerque yet these two groups are in opposition the San Jose neighborhood and are protecting Honstein Oil. This is against the purpose and mission statement of the two entities.

  • I am coming here today to testify about the environmental injustice that is happening to the community of San Jose and the lack of protection being offered by the groups whose duty is to protect the vulnerable. The Air Quality Control Board needs to deny the Honstein air permit and say yes to protecting the families living close to Honstein Oil.

  • The Environmental Health Department and Air Quality Board for years have been aware of the air quality issues in San Jose and have not done a thing to address the odors of Chlorobenzene in San Jose.

  • The Environmental Health Department and Air Quality Board needs to look at the amount all of the polluting industries in San Jose that are contributing high pollution levels in the neighborhood of San Jose.

Thank you and God Bless you and your family.
Esther and Steven Abeyta

If you cannot make the hearing in person, click here to find out how you can help.


Posted on 01/11/2017 • PermalinkBack to top

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