March 21, 2022

Environmental Protection Division director to retire at end of month


Sandra Ely

The New Mexico Environment Department’s Environmental Protection Division director announced on Monday that she will be retiring, effective at the end of the month.

Sandra Ely has led the division for three years and has worked for NMED in various capacities since 1994, with a short break from 2015 until 2019 when she was working for Santa Fe County managing the Aamodt Water Settlement. 

“I feel really lucky to have been a part of the Environment Department family for many years,” Ely said in a press release. “The mission of the agency and the commitment by staff to environmental protection and public health is inspiring and kept me going every day.”

She was one of the key architects behind the new Climate Change Bureau within NMED and, during her time as the Environmental Protection Division director, oversaw initiatives like the ozone precursor rules and the clean car rules. 

Related: NMED pushes for funding for climate bureau

According to a press release from NMED, the department hopes to fill the division director position by April. NMED is also recruiting applicants for the Water Protection Division director and the Resource Protection Division director.