State regulators approve water protection rules

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 8:30 pm | Updated: 7:05 am, Wed Sep 11, 2013.

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico regulators on Tuesday approved a proposed set of rules aimed at protecting groundwater at copper mines despite claims by the Attorney General’s Office that the proposal contradicts existing state law.

The hearing before the state Water Quality Control Commission marked the culmination of months of wrangling over how best to deal with potential contamination at mining sites. The commission heard days of testimony, held public meetings and reviewed volumes of information related to the so-called “copper rule” before voting 9-1 to approve modifications.

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  • Philip Taccetta posted at 11:44 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    PhiltheElder Posts: 188

    All four comments so far are "spot on"!

  • Pat Shackleford posted at 10:29 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 566

    State Regulators Approve Water Pollution Rules; will issue weak and worthless guidelines (or "rules") for those companies who twisted their arms with gifts & cash sufficient to insure compliance with industry "rules for regulators".

    Now, If there were some kind of regulating body working for the public's interests instead of making it easier for wealthy extractive industries to legally pollute and not be held responsible til after the damage is done; that'd be nice. Apparently, the state salary is insufficient to have regulators actually do their job.

  • john butler posted at 10:21 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    john butler Posts: 1

    The title of this article, "State Regulators Approve Water Protection Rules" is highly misleading. Where is your editor? No less a source than the Attorney General's office says the NM Environment Department's proposal would allow mining companies to pollute the groundwater beneath their operations, and that the proposal is in violation of existing law. As pointed out in the Sept 10 hearing, the proposal would allow groundwater pollution in a 9 square mile area under the Tyrone site in southern New Mexico. Let's hope the AG's office sues the Governor's Environment Department to rescind this proposal and to protect the groundwater resources of the State.

  • Joseph Hempfling posted at 9:05 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    joehempfling Posts: 188

    Having sat (and been bored by the legal double talk most of the time) during most of the hearings have to say this was NOT democracy in action but merely the rubber stamping of a forgone conclusion i.e to weaken if not gut, the protection of our ground water which has been successfully protected for the last 46 years by a law already on the books ! Water is held in Public Trust and this new law which is little more than a Permit to Pollute is unconstitutional, against the Public Interest, a gift to the Copper Industry by our short sighted Governor and a disgusting example of how agencies such as our own NM Environmental Dept. can sell us out due to political pressure.
    THIS WAS NOT A WATER PROTECTION RULE ! IT WAS A SELL OUT ! and only wish there were not more of you there to listen and see it. Our Country including New Mexico is for sale and going fast to the highest bidder in this case THE MINING INDUSTRY !!

  • Shelbie Knox posted at 6:55 am on Wed, Sep 11, 2013.

    rugbyguy17 Posts: 1

    First of all, shame on the New Mexican for its ridiculous headline, "State Regulators Approve Water Protections Rules"; the Copper Rule will lead to the pollution of water, not to its protection. Second, having followed this story for the past year - the political shenanigans, the dismal behavior of NMED's management in this matter, and the endless hearings, this is a sad but predictable outcome under the Martinez administration. Governor Martinez and NMED Secretary-Designate Flynn, I suggest that you give up on your truly weak "Drought Public Information Campaign," ("take showers instead of baths"..."every New Mexican can do their part...." You are not credible messengers.


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