skip to main content

Friday, June 2, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

NM Environmentalists: New Rules, Same Spills at State's Oilfields

play audio
Play

Monday, May 15, 2023   

Environmentalists and citizens in New Mexico believe the state agency charged with overseeing oil and gas activity is not doing enough to enforce rules meant to crack down on polluters.

At a meeting last week, they challenged the Oil Conservation Division, pointing to a 16% increase in spills of drilling-related wastewater in 2022.

Sofia Jenkins-Nieto, spokesperson for Youth United for Climate Crisis Action, said it is not what was expected after stronger regulations were adopted in 2021.

"This law exists, and we're kind of wanting to hold industry accountable in some way or another," Jenkins-Nieto asserted. "We have a constitutional right to clean land, air and water."

During the presentation, the Oil Conservation Division said nearly 1,500 wastewater spills occurred in the state last year, an average of four per day. The state agency said in the past year, 74 notices were issued for various violations with $11 million in civil penalties being sought from offenders.

Melissa Troutman, climate and energy advocate for WildEarth Guardians, argued a more urgent response is needed to protect the health of those on the front lines.

"This is a pollution crisis," Troutman contended. "This is not something that should be, 'Oh, well, we'll get around to it when we can and when we have the resources.' This is something that should be addressed yesterday."

Elizabeth West, a resident of Santa Fe, told the hearing the sluggish process of cracking down on violators reminds her of a slow-motion train wreck.

"When things are not done, train wrecks happen," West pointed out. "It's too confusing to me to see why there isn't more traction about what's happening in our whole state."

Mary Burton Riseley, a fourth-generation New Mexican from Roswell, compared the oil and gas fields to a fictionalized landscape of devastation.

"Southeastern New Mexico now more resembles Mordor from the 'Lord of the Rings' than it does the plains of my childhood," Burton Riseley stated.


get more stories like this via email
Almost all departments in Connecticut schools saw shortages in 2022, following a long-standing national trend. A 2022 American Federation of Teachers report found before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the school year ends, Connecticut's teacher shortage seems to have only worsened. In March, school districts across the state reported having 2,60…


Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…

Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…


Pennsylvanians must register to vote by Oct. 23 to be eligible to vote in the general election on Nov. 7. (Vesperstock/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Keystone State's general election is less than six months away and a nonpartisan, grassroots organization is already getting the word out to …

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

Sarah Van Loon, Midwest regional director for the American Jewish Committee, said it is incumbent upon all of us to teach children about the Holocaust. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

Social Issues

play sound

Some Illinois real estate corporations are getting large paydays by charging homeowners assessments for "common expenses," and the owners allege they …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021