- $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)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4453
Representative Rudy Martinez (D-Dona Ana, Grant & Sierra)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4233
Representative Candy Sweetser (D- Grant, Hidalgo & Luna)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4255
Representative Gail Armstrong (R-Catron, Socorro & Valencia)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4242
Outside of Southwest New Mexico? Find your Representative.
ACTION #2 – CALL THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF HB220
- 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)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4411;
Representative Damon Ely, Vice-Chair (D- Bernalillo, Sandoval)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4432
Representative Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Cibola & McKinley)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4415
Representative Deborah A. Armstrong (D- Bernalillo)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4840
Representative Micaela Lara Cadena (D – Dona Ana)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4210
Representative Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4226
Representative Zachary J. Cook (R-Lincoln & Otero)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4243
Representative Brian Egolf (D- Santa Fe)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4782
Representative Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D- Bernalillo)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4336
Representative Georgene Louis (D- Bernalillo)
email@example.com, Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4329
Representative Matthew McQueen (D-Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4423
Representative Greg Nibert (R-Chaves & Lincoln)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4211
Representative William R. Rehm (R-Bernalillo)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4214
Representative James G. Townsend (R-Chaves, Eddy and Otero)
email@example.com; Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4758