Climate change poses a serious and present risk to public health. We recently held a webinar (available here) about the risks that New Mexico faces if pollution and climate change are allowed to go unchecked. New Mexico's state and local government has committed to make changes to how we handle oil and gas pollution, but new proposed rules would exempt the majority of polluters from any new regulation. Five counties in New Mexico are within 95% of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and without effective action at the state level, New Mexico may face strict regulation from the federal government. We encourage you to submit a public comment on these draft rules before the end of the comment period tomorrow, September 16th, 2020.
NMED Air Quality Bureau: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMNRD Oil Conservation Division: EMNRD.WasteRule@state.nm.us
If you would like guidance on a comment, we at Health Action New Mexico have the following recommendations:
For the New Mexico Environmental Department: Please remove loopholes that would exempt the vast majority of wells from leak detection and repair. This is unacceptable. Please remove the exemption for stripper wells and the 15 tons per pear pollution threshold for volatile organic compounds.
For the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department: Please set the requirement for gas capture by locality either by county or basin. If not, companies operating in multiple localities could just elect one locality and disproportionately affect one or the other basins in NM and will not reach the 98% capture goal set by the NM Oil Conservation Division.Health Action