NM Environment Review: Holtec license and hearing news, land grant dispute and more

-The Carlsbad Current Argus reported that one oilfield worker was killed and another injured when a tank battery caught fire Wednesday near Loving. -The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Wednesday that the public can request an adjudicatory hearing on the application a company has filed for a license to temporarily store 8,680 metric tons of […]

NM Environment Review: Holtec license and hearing news, land grant dispute and more

-The Carlsbad Current Argus reported that one oilfield worker was killed and another injured when a tank battery caught fire Wednesday near Loving.

-The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Wednesday that the public can request an adjudicatory hearing on the application a company has filed for a license to temporarily store 8,680 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants, and to eventually store more than 20 times that amount between Hobbs and Carlsbad.

According to the NRC, the hearing—if granted—would be held before three administrative judges and could address issues of law or fact with the application filed by the company, Holtec International.

The deadline for requests is Sept. 14; requirements and procedures for requesting a hearing and petition to intervene are online at the Federal Register.

State Sen. Jeff Steinborn, a Democrat in Las Cruces, has been trying to get answers from Gov. Susana Martinez and her administration on more than 60 questions about the facility and the state’s ability to handle it. Steinborn is chairman of the Legislature’s Committee on Radioactive and Hazardous Materials. Maddy Hayden has that story.

Want to get the Environment Review in your email a day early? Sign up here!

-In case you missed our environment coverage this week, we’ve got a story about the Carlsbad Field Office of the BLM. The office has frequently been under fire from elected officials and industry for processing applications for permits to drill to slowly. Now, the agency is hearing from conservation groups that have asked the agency to defer leases it plans to offer for sale that are close to the boundary of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We also feature a story from Matt Weiser at Water Deeply about how the oil boom in southeastern New Mexico is exacerbating the water wars between Texas and New Mexico.

-I don’t normally link to op-eds and editorials, but the fact that the Albuquerque Journal has weighed in on this issue seems like news in and of itself. On July 16, the editorial board praised Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, both Democrats, for their “strong watchdog roles” during the process to open the Waste Isolation Power Plant and urged Martinez to give the people of New Mexico “straight answers and the safest possible project” when it comes to Holtec, too.

To read our past coverage of the issues, click here.

-The NRC’s public comment period for its scoping process on Holtec’s license for the HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility is open until July 30. Comments can be emailed to [email protected].

-Russell Contreras of the Associated Press reports that New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is seeking to void a 2003 land transfer from a historic land grant to a Colorado-based nonprofit.

-The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that legislators are suing over the transfer of Mesilla Valley Bosque from the State Parks Division to the Department of Game and Fish. According to a press release, the New Mexico Legislative Council, legislators don’t believe the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which oversees State Parks, has the authority to “eliminate a state park without consulting with the Legislature.”

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All…
Equality New Mexico endorses 15 legislative candidates

Equality New Mexico endorses 15 legislative candidates

A New Mexico-based LGBTQ rights organization endorsed 15 candidates for state House and Senate seats for the 2024 elections.  Marshall Martinez, executive director of…
Lujan Grisham pocket vetoes two bills

Lujan Grisham pocket vetoes two bills

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pocket vetoed two bills the legislature passed this legislative session: one changing the Cybersecurity Act and the other concerning law…
Feds announce final renewable energy rule for public lands

Feds announce final renewable energy rule for public lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a final renewable energy rule Thursday that is expected to pave the way for increased wind, solar…
Heinrich co-sponsors legislation to address PFAS in private wells

Heinrich co-sponsors legislation to address PFAS in private wells

About 13 percent of New Mexico’s population relies solely on private wells for drinking water and this removes a level of health security. For…
EPA announces new drinking water standards for PFAS chemicals

EPA announces new drinking water standards for PFAS chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced drinking water standards on Wednesday that are intended to protect Americans from contamination from PFAS chemicals. This is…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…
The status of the lawsuit New Mexico joined to remove FDA restrictions to mifepristone

The status of the lawsuit New Mexico joined to remove FDA restrictions to mifepristone

While the U.S. Supreme Court considers the future of access to the abortion medication, mifepristone, another lawsuit against the FDA that would expand access…
Senators introduce legislation to aid abortion providers

Senators introduce legislation to aid abortion providers

Sen. Martin Heinrih and other Senate colleagues introduced abortion rights legislation into the U.S. Senate on Thursday. The Abortion Care Capacity Enhancement and Support…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…
The status of the lawsuit New Mexico joined to remove FDA restrictions to mifepristone

The status of the lawsuit New Mexico joined to remove FDA restrictions to mifepristone

While the U.S. Supreme Court considers the future of access to the abortion medication, mifepristone, another lawsuit against the FDA that would expand access…
Senators introduce legislation to aid abortion providers

Senators introduce legislation to aid abortion providers

Sen. Martin Heinrih and other Senate colleagues introduced abortion rights legislation into the U.S. Senate on Thursday. The Abortion Care Capacity Enhancement and Support…
Politics Newsletter: Early and absentee voting

Politics Newsletter: Early and absentee voting

Good morning fellow political junkies! Early and absentee voting for the June 4 New Mexico primary begins in about a month. The nonprofit election…
San Juan County, Navajo Nation settle redistricting case

San Juan County, Navajo Nation settle redistricting case

The Navajo Nation and San Juan County reached an agreement Monday about commission districts after the tribe alleged that its members were not adequately…
MIT ranks NM elections most well-run in the U.S.

MIT ranks NM elections most well-run in the U.S.

New Mexico’s 2022 election was ranked most well-run in the country by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Election Data and Science Lab’s Elections Performance Index.…
What the low unemployment rates for months means for NM’s economy

What the low unemployment rates for months means for NM’s economy

Post-pandemic, New Mexico has had an extended run of low unemployment rates. New Mexico’s unemployment rate has remained stable at 4.0 percent since October…
Feds announce final renewable energy rule for public lands

Feds announce final renewable energy rule for public lands

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a final renewable energy rule Thursday that is expected to pave the way for increased wind, solar…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report