ACTION ALERT: Support HB220 and HB255 to protect community health and our environment

Two urgent actions are needed TODAY on House Bill 220 and House Bill 255 to protect our community, our water quality and environment from the impacts of copper mining.
HB255 would phase out corporate guarantees from an affiliated corporation in Mining Act permits, closing a loophole in the law that lets mining companies shift up to 75% of the financial burden and environmental risk for cleanup and reclamation onto the taxpayer and local communities. FACT SHEET
  • $104 million I.O.U at Freeport-McMoRan’s Grant County mines puts taxpayers and communities at risk for mine cleanup and reclamation.
    • The Chino/Cobre and Tyrone mines currently have $104 million in a corporate guarantee provided by Freeport-McMoRan subsidiary Freeport Minerals Corporation.
    • If Freeport Minerals goes bankrupt and can no longer cover this environmental liability, then the State of New Mexico will have to put up the cash for the cleanup or more likely, $104 million in reclamation and cleanup would not be done and Grant County residents would have to bear the environmental risk of incomplete cleanup.
    • New Mexico already had a close call with Freeport-McMoRan serving as corporate guarantor when it failed the Financial Soundness Test in 2015 – 2016.
  • New Mexico is already picking up the tab for $43 million in remediation from a bankrupt company, a situation HB255 will prevent from happening at Freeport’s mines.
    • I & W Inc. drilled a brine well in Carlsbad and pumped the groundwater for use in oil and gas production. The company went bankrupt and left behind a tremendous environmental liability with no way to pay for remediation. The state legislature approved $43 million last year to remediate the huge cavern left behind by the company before it collapses and potentially causes an estimated $1 billion in damages.

We can’t afford to let this happen in our community!

Please support HB255 to ensure that sufficient financial resources are in place to cleanup and reclaim our mine sites to protect our environment and public health! Call your representative TODAY! HB255 could be voted on any day now.

Southwest New Mexico Representatives

Representative Rebecca Dow (R-Grant, Hidalgo & Sierra); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4453

Representative Rudy Martinez (D-Dona Ana, Grant & Sierra); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4233

Representative Candy Sweetser (D- Grant, Hidalgo & Luna); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4255

Representative Gail Armstrong (R-Catron, Socorro & Valencia); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4242

Outside of Southwest New Mexico? Find your Representative.



HB220 would nullify those provisions of the Copper Mine Rule that allow copper mines to pollute groundwater above New Mexico water quality standards. FACT SHEET

  • Currently under the Martinez Administration’s Copper Rule, copper mines are exempt from meeting groundwater quality standards.
    • The rule effectively removed the Water Quality Act requirement to prevent pollution and now allows mines to legally contaminate groundwater.
  • Grant County’s water supplies are at risk under the Copper Rule.
    • Grant County is 100% dependent upon its groundwater for drinking water.
    • If Freeport is unable to contain groundwater contamination and pump and treat it in perpetuity, community water supplies could become contaminated.
  • HB220 would return New Mexico to the original Water Quality Act regulatory framework prior to the Copper Rule and will not end mining in Grant County.
    • Before the Copper Rule, Freeport-McMoRan’s Grant County mines operated in compliance with the Water Quality Act and had approved discharge permits and were issued variances as necessary.

House Judiciary Committee (HB220 could be heard in HJC any day now)

Representative Gail Chasey, Chair, (D- Bernalillo); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4411;

Representative Damon Ely, Vice-Chair (D- Bernalillo, Sandoval); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4432

Representative Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Cibola & McKinley); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4415

Representative Deborah A. Armstrong (D- Bernalillo); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4840

Representative Micaela Lara Cadena (D – Dona Ana); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4210

Representative Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4226

Representative Zachary J. Cook (R-Lincoln & Otero); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4243

Representative Brian Egolf (D- Santa Fe); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4782

Representative Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D- Bernalillo); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4336

Representative Georgene Louis (D- Bernalillo), Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4329

Representative Matthew McQueen (D-Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4423

Representative Greg Nibert (R-Chaves & Lincoln); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4211

Representative William R. Rehm (R-Bernalillo); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4214

Representative James G. Townsend (R-Chaves, Eddy and Otero); Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4758

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