Attorney General Hector Balderas Targeted Over Copper Rule Appeal
There is no limit to how far global mining giant Freeport-McMoRan will go to get its way to legally pollute New Mexico’s groundwater. And the Martinez administration has proved that it is more than willing to help go after state officials like Attorney General Hector Balderas who are trying to protect New Mexico’s water supplies.
New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn (a former attorney with Modrall Sperling law firm that represents Freeport-McMoRan) was recently in Grant County lobbying locals to put pressure on Attorney General Hector Balderas to drop his appeal of the Copper Rule.
This industry-written rule allows copper mining companies to pollute groundwater underneath mine sites in violation of the state’s Water Quality Act, and it was Secretary Flynn who pushed through the mining-friendly rule over the objections of his technical staff.
As many of you know who attended the public input meetings in Grant County, opposition to the Copper Rule outnumbered supporters by 10:1, and the support came from Freeport’s own employees, contractors, and grantees.
Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals upheld the adoption of the Rule.
Attorney General Balderas along with environmental groups (GRIP and Amigos Bravos represented by NM Environmental Law Center) and former State Groundwater Bureau Chief Bill Olson filed petitions with the NM Supreme Court. In July, the Supreme Court granted the petitions filed by all parties and ordered a review of all issues raised.
The Supreme Court’s decision could come some time in 2016.
Thank you to Attorney General Hector Balderas for opposing the Copper Rule and defending our state’s Water Quality Act that protects our precious water resources for present and future generations!
More info on this issue:
12/1/15 – Gila/Mimbres Community Radio – Earth Matters Interview with NM Environmental Law Center’s Doug Meiklejohn on Copper Rule, Dairy Rule and San Augustin Ranch Application
11/21/15 – Silver City Daily Press – Reader’s Forum: Outsiders don’t know what’s best for Grant County
11/17/15 – Silver City Daily Press – Reader’s Forum: Copper Rule support not popular
11/16/15 – Silver City Daily Press – Secretary’s Copper Rule campaign riles opponents
11/11/15 – Silver City Daily Press – Environment Secretary Seeks Support for Copper Rule
11/11/15 – Silver City Sun-News – State Environment Secretary discusses Copper Rule