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

Santolina master plan approved; legal challenges ahead

Yet a coalition of advocacy groups opposing the Santolina development promise to challenge the county’s actions. Javier Benavidez, executive director of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), told reporters that the county commission’s shaky process of approving the project opens up many legal challenges.  “It’s definitely not the end of the road,” Benavidez said. New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 06/17/2015 • PermalinkBack to top

Attorney general seeks review of appeals court ruling on regulations of copper mine pollution

“The copper rule flies in the face of the Water Quality Act,” said Douglas Meiklejohn, a New Mexico Environmental Law Center attorney representing the advocacy groups. “(The act) says that the Water Quality Control Commission must make regulations ‘to prevent or abate’ water pollution. This doesn’t do that. This allows water pollution.” TribTown.com

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Posted by Juana Colon on 06/14/2015 • PermalinkBack to top

WQCC approves Dairy Rule comprimise

The commission voted unanimously to approve the Dairy Rule…“This settlement is unique in that the environmental coalition we represent initiated discussions with the dairy industry,” New Mexico Environmental Law Center staff attorney Jon Block said in a statement. “We came up with a set of agreed-upon changes to the rules that they can live with and, we think, provide the New Mexico Environment Department with the means to protect groundwater. This was a win-win situation for all concerned and this time the dairy industry has real ownership of the final rule.” New Mexico Political Report

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Posted by Juana Colon on 05/13/2015 • PermalinkBack to top

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