The week of August 15, 2016, the public relations firm working for Augustin Plains Ranch announced that the Ranch’s current application to obtain the rights to 54,000 acre-feet of water is under consideration by the Office of the State Engineer. (Albuquerque-area residents used 92,940 acre-feet of water in 2015.)
Since 2008, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) has provided pro bono representation to approximately 80 individuals who live in west-central New Mexico. Together, we successfully challenged the Ranch’s first application. We intend to challenge this application as well.
We sat down with NMELC Executive Director Doug Meiklejohn to get some answers about the Ranch’s most recent application…
08/22/2016 • Back to top
Doug Meiklejohn, an attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said the latest application by the developers does not include any specifics about who the actual water users would be and only mentions that cities such as Albuquerque and Rio Rancho are in the market for more water rights.
“It appears that the application suffers from the same lack of end user that was the basis for us getting it dismissed the first time,” he said. “You can’t speculate in water in New Mexico. It’s illegal.” Santa Fe New Mexican
Go to Santa Fe New Mexican for full story.
08/18/2016 • Back to top
The state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the New Mexico Copper Rule case for Wednesday, September 28 in Santa Fe.
The Copper Rule is a regulation adopted in October 2013 that allows the state’s copper mines to intentionally pollute groundwater. It is the first time since the New Mexico Water Quality Act was adopted that the State has exempted an entire industry from *pollution prevention requirements of the Act. KRWG
Go to KRWG for full story.
08/12/2016 • Back to top
Under the Civil Rights Act, local governments that receive federal money are prohibited from discriminating against low-income people of color…
“These environmental rights, the rights to clean air, clean water—those are civil rights,” said Eric Jantz, an attorney for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center who filed the civil rights complaint with the EPA. “The air quality control board and the environmental health department have a fairly long history of suppressing public input and public activism around this issue.” KUNM
Go to KUNM for full story.
08/08/2016 • Back to top
by Douglas Meiklejohn
The departure of Ryan Flynn from the position of secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department gives the governor an opportunity to do the right thing: appoint a secretary who will carry out the mission of the department.
Published in the Santa Fe New Mexican on August 6, 2016
08/06/2016 • Back to top
Civil rights. The term encompasses a lot.
In Albuquerque, it means that all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity or country of origin, have the right to breathe clean air…but that right does not translate into healthy air for communities of color. Today we and our client, the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) took one step closer to making healthy air for all communities a reality.
We just received a letter stating that the EPA will investigate our complaint that the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board and City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (formerly the Air Quality Division) are discriminating against people of color when deciding where to permit air pollution.
07/26/2016 • Back to top