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.
SANTA FE, N.M.—An environmental group has appealed the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission’s (OCC) decision to weaken an important environmental standard that protects New Mexico’s ground water from pollution by oil and gas operations.
SANTA FE, N.M - The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), a nonprofit, public interest environmental law firm, announces the appointment of long-time writer, artist, teacher and activist Alice van Buren to the Board of Directors. Van Buren, a former National Public Radio commentator, magazine editor, television researcher and writer, brings her passion for protecting the environment to this well respected organization.
“The largest release of radioactive waste occurred right down the road from me. To this day, this dangerous contamination has not been adequately addressed.” Larry J. King, Churchrock resident, before the U.S. House of Representatives, October 23, 2007
CHURCH ROCK, NM - The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) - a coalition of community groups affected by uranium mining and committed to renewable energy development - announces the 30th Anniversary Commemoration of the Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill on July 16, 2009.
SANTA FE, NM – In order to offer the public better access to information about the environmental health of their communities, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) is excited to announce the launch of their new website just in time for Earth Day. The new website will offer regular updates on cases, issues and events, as well as easier navigation and a cleaner interface.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.