skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

NM Activists Secure Hearing on 'Forever Chemicals' Used in Extraction

play audio
Play

Friday, July 14, 2023   

Environmental groups and concerned citizens scored a victory in New Mexico on Thursday that could lead to better regulation of PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals."

Following a meeting of the state's Oil Conservation Commission, board members agreed to hold a hearing next February to consider new rules governing the oil and gas industry and its use of PFAS.

Liliana Castillo, who serves on the Amigos Bravos board of directors, noted the toxic chemicals do not break down in the environment.

"Our water is our most important resource and we need all the protections we can get," she said. "This is especially pressing as drought and heat, fueled by climate change, impact our water supplies."

The commission's decision came after the group WildEarth Guardians filed a petition to ban PFAS in fossil-fuel activities and require that the industry fully disclose the hazardous chemicals it uses.

The petition was filed after the group Physicians for Social Responsibility released a report that showed massive use of PFAS in New Mexico. Report author Dusty Horwitt, a senior consultant for the group, testified that oil and gas companies acknowledged injecting PFAS into more than 200 wells in six counties in the Permian and San Juan basins between 2013 and 2022. However, industry records also show fracking chemicals were injected into 8,200 other wells.

"These chemicals could be PFASs or other toxics, but their identities are kept secret from the public and regulators, as allowed by New Mexico law," he said. "The public has a right to know these chemical identities - and a right to be free from 'forever chemical' pollution."

Speaking on behalf of the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter, Antoinette Reyes, the chapter's Southern New Mexico organizer, said her group supports the proposal to make oil and gas companies reveal just what they use for fracking - despite industry concerns that it would expose their methods to competitors.

"There is a way to require the disclosure of chemicals," she said, "similar to the food industry - where you list the ingredients, but don't give away the 'recipe' - which is a way that some states have gotten around the trade-secret issue."

PFAS are associated with cancer, birth defects and developmental damage to infants, as well as impaired functioning of the liver, kidneys and immune system.

Disclosure: Amigos Bravos contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream…


Social Issues

play sound

Memorial Day commemorates Americans who lost their lives while serving in the military. But the Iowa Federation of Labor takes the opportunity to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

This Memorial Day, Connecticut health experts are guiding caregivers on how to keep people with Alzheimer's safe. People with the various forms of …


The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

The median length of stay in juvenile detention has increased in Pennsylvania. The average and median lengths of stay have increased, from 17 and 11 days in 2018 to 27 and 14 days in 2022. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

 

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