Press Room

EPA Protections Against Dangerous Coal Pollution Considered in New Mexico

Desert Rock

New standards will require a reduction in health-threatening air pollution

February 18 - Farmington, NM – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday held a public hearing to listen to input regarding measures to reduce dangerous pollution from the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, which is located near Farmington, New Mexico.


Club Succeeds in Effort to Implement Cost-Saving Building Codes in New Mexico

New Codes Will Save Money, Conserve State’s Natural Resources

February 1 - Santa Fe – The Sierra Club today announced that the organization, the oldest and largest grassroots organization in American history, has succeeded in its effort to ensure cost-saving building codes will be published in the New Mexico State Register. The Sierra Club had filed a legal challenge after Governor Susana Martinez declared that she would halt publication of the cost-saving building codes. The new building codes, which the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission adopted in 2010, include increased energy efficiency measures that will lead to smarter energy use and will save New Mexicans money.


Get your children outside to play

Youth outdoors

Op-Ed by Kristina Ortez de Jones published in the Santa Fe New Mexican on February 14, 2011

If you grew up in New Mexico, you may remember long summer days playing along acequias or exploring the bosque. Old-timers may recollect digging for arrowheads or hiking in desert or forest landscapes.

No matter where you grew up, most of us have common memories of outdoor experiences. Unfortunately, this is not the norm for children living in modern-day New Mexico. With increased classroom hours and more time in front of a screen, fewer and fewer children are spending time outside experiencing New Mexico's natural heritage.


Hikers Encounter Coyote Crushed in Leg-hold Trap

Coyote Trapped

Groups Call for Trapping Reforms

Feb 18 - Winston, NM. Amidst growing public pressure to ban barbaric traps on public lands in New Mexico, last Saturday, a group of Sierra Club hikers stumbled upon a coyote that had its leg crushed in a steel-jawed, leg-hold trap.

“The coyote’s leg was horribly mangled. We saw bone fragments and torn flesh,” Mary Katherine Ray, the trip leader observed. “I am no stranger to trapping issues, but seeing a live animal captured and injured in that brutal device was absolutely grievous and deplorable.”


Traps Ensnare Hiker and Dogs

Three Recent Incidents Plague New Mexicans

January 7, 2011 - Santa Fe, NM. Since mid-December, at least three New Mexico residents and/or their dogs have been caught in leg-hold traps set out by fur trappers. In one instance, the traps were illegally set but snows have hindered investigation by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.


EPA, Sierra Club Spar with PNM Over Pollution Control Costs

Public News Service Press Release

December 30, 2010 - FARMINGTON, N.M. - It's a debate over numbers when it comes to cleaning up the emissions from New Mexico's biggest power plant, and both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club say figures put out by power utility PNM are way off. The utility says it could cost a billion dollars to install the pollution controls proposed by the EPA for the San Juan Generating Station, New Mexico's biggest power plant.

That could mean an increase in electric bills of about $90 per year for each household, but David Van Winkle, energy chairman of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, says that, using EPA estimates and some simple math, the figure is closer to $10 a year.


EPA Proposal Would Protect Air Quality in New Mexico and Neighbor States

Coal - San Juan

Tribal and Conservation Organizations Applaud Limits on Dangerous Pollution from San Juan Generating Station

(NEW MEXICO)— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a proposed rule to control dangerous air pollution from the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico. The rule specifically addresses pollutants that form ozone and small particles, both of which are very harmful to the public’s health as well as visibility throughout the region. Children, the elderly, people with lung diseases such as asthma, and people who work or exercise outside are at risk for adverse effects from ozone and particulate matter. Tribal and conservation organizations, including Dooda (No) Desert Rock and the Sierra Club applauded the EPA effort to protect people from the pollution created by the San Juan Generating Station.


NM Water Quality Commission Approves Safeguards for Clean Water

December 15 – The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) today passed New Mexico’s first industry-specific regulations for the dairy industry. The new regulations will govern dairy waste pollution in ground water. The decision marks the end of a two-year process begun by the dairy industry itself, which asked for industry-specific regulations during the 2009 New Mexico legislative session.

“These regulations are way overdue”, said Jerry Nivens of Caballo Concerned Citizens. “This is a victory for clean water.”


Sierra Club Applauds Decision to Uphold New Mexico Clean Air Protections

Helena Chemical Company Must Continue to Meet Air Quality Standards

December 6- The Sierra Club applauded the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) ruling today that Helena Chemical Company’s facility in Mesquite, New Mexico must continue to operate with an air quality permit.


Sorry, PNM: Customer cost for clean air likely to be $10 per year, not $90

Coal - San Juan

12/24/10 - PNM claims that it would cost PNM residential customers $90/year for 20 years to implement the recently announced EPA proposed pollution controls for the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station (SJGS), located in Farmington New Mexico. PNM also claims that these pollution controls capital cost would exceed $1 Billion.

Both claims are significantly overstated.


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