Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

Earth Day Update from Attorney General Balderas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2017

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Balderas will continue to oppose efforts by the Trump Administration to eviscerate  commonsense regulations that protect New Mexico’s environment and people

Albuquerque, NM – In celebration of Earth Day, Attorney General Hector Balderas reminds New Mexicans that the Office of the Attorney General Consumer and Environmental Protection Division is working hard to protect the health and safety of our families, economy and natural environment.

“New Mexico has a diverse, beautiful environment, much like the people who inhabit it, and I am honored to work diligently to protect our pristine natural environment for generations to come,” Attorney General Balderas said. “This Earth Day, I am thankful for New Mexico’s
unique environment, wildlife and waterways, and I urge all New Mexicans to join me in protecting all of our state’s natural wonders.”

Since last year’s Earth Day, Attorney General Balderas has taken the following action in an effort to protect all New Mexicans:

  • Holding EPA, Colorado, and mining companies accountable for the Gold King Mine spill which dumped thousands of gallons of pollution into the Animas and San Juan Rivers.
  • Intervening with more than a dozen other states in defense of the Obama
    Administration’s Clean Power Plan rules to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector – a key element of the nation’s strategy to meet obligations under the Paris climate treaty.
  • Intervening, with California, to support the BLM’s 2016 rule reducing venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas production on federal lands, against challenges brought by industry and other states in federal court in Wyoming. New Mexico is home to the largest methane hot spot in the nation.
  • Intervening in the Washington D.C. Circuit Court in support of methane emission standards for new oil and gas facilities, against a state and industry challenge.
  • Intervening in the Washington D.C. Circuit Court in support of the mercury and air toxics rule for power plants, against a state and industry challenge.
  • Working with the U.S. Department of Justice, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resource Department to reach a settlement requiring Chevron Mining, Inc. to spend $143 Million on the first major phase of remediation at the Questa molybdenum mine.
  • Working with the New Mexico Office of the Natural Resource Trustee in ongoing efforts to collect damages to restore natural resources injured by the release of  hazardous substances, at sites such as Los Alamos National Laboratories, White Sands Test Facilities, the Questa Molybdenum Mine Site, Fort Wingate Army Depot, the Rio Algom Quivira Uranium Mill and Mines Site, and others.

Additional actions are in the works for 2017, as Attorney General Balderas will continue to oppose efforts by the Trump Administration to eviscerate commonsense regulations that protect New Mexico’s environment and people.

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Raul Torrez

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