Why won’t Bernalillo County protect the health of San Jose neighborhood residents?

“It sends a message to the San Jose community that their lives don’t matter as much as those in non-minority and more affluent neighborhoods.”
Eric Jantz, NMELC Staff Attorney

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— On Tuesday, June 30th, oral arguments will be heard before the Albuquerque Air Quality Control Board over an air permit granted to a decades old gasoline distribution depot operating in the San Jose neighborhood of Albuquerque. The Environmental Health Division (EHD) granted Honstein Oil Co.’s permit application in June 2014, without considering the cumulative impacts of air pollution sources on public health and property. The permit allows the plant to emit 2.26 tons of volatile organic compounds per year. Get Fact Sheet

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06/29/2015 • Back to top

Santolina development agreement will undermine power to protect county residents

I’d like to address several specific provisions of the development agreement. Santolina public comment

First, the development agreement really doesn’t commit the developer to almost anything. If you look at two very specific important provisions – one is the jobs-to-housing ratio and the other is the no-net expense requirement. The jobs-to-housing ratio, there’s been a lot of talk about that table that’s on page 4, but there’s no indication anywhere in the agreement that, in fact, the developer has to meet the numbers in that table.

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06/17/2015 • Back 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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06/17/2015 • Back 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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06/14/2015 • Back 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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05/13/2015 • Back to top

Copper & Water | Attorney general, conservation groups say Appeals Court decision was off the mark

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s new brief for the Gila Resources Information Project makes the argument that if the copper industry is allowed to pollute, others will also get a pass…“The thing we’re pointing out is that the rule violates the [Water Quality Act] on its face because you have to protect places of withdrawal, and they didn’t do that,” says Olson. Santa Fe Reporter

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05/13/2015 • Back to top

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