New Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Water Sacrifice Zones March 9, 2018 SANTA FE, N.M.—The New Mexico Supreme Court issued a stunning and puzzling decision in its long-awaited review of the Copper Rule. The case could set precedent for how the State of New Mexico protects water at all industrial sites. “We are very disappointed with […]
Grant County is home to two of the nation’s five largest open-pit copper mines, responsible for ongoing groundwater contamination, aquifer depletion, bird deaths, and the destruction of preciouis riparian areas.
Since 1998, GRIP has raised awareness of these issues and mobilized residents to voice their opinions at hearings and in letters to newspapers and decisionmakers. By hiring a national expert in mine reclamation, we have also educated regulators and the mines about industry best practices.
As a result of these efforts and the support of environmental groups statewide, the Tyrone and Chino mines have two of the nation’s best reclamation plans, backed by over $500 million in financial assurance.
As a partner in the New Mexico Mining Act Network, GRIP continues to defend the NM Mining Act and Water Quality Act from industry rollback attempts, such as with the latest water quality regulation for copper mining. Ongoing activities include monitoring the environmental impacts of the mines under operational permits, oversight of permitting for a proposed new haul road at the Cobre mine and permitting of a new mine near Hillsboro.