AMIGOS BRAVOS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS
& THE 18TH ANNUAL RAFFLE FOR THE RIO!
For 25 years, Amigos Bravos has acted in the belief that our communities should have the technical knowledge and organizational skills to protect and preserve their own local rivers and water. We work hard to provide that knowledge and those skills to communities across the state. In return, we depend on your support so that we can be as quick to respond as possible when threats to our rivers arise. When you buy a raffle ticket, you ensure that all of us – working together – can protect and restore the rivers and waters that sustain us. If you win, you’ll have a choice between three prizes: An acre of land in northern New Mexico, OR 7 nights in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Or $3,000 cash. Your choice! To purchase a ticket click here or call 575-758-3874. The drawing will take place live on June 20.
Thank you for your support of New Mexico’s waters!
Amigos Bravos "Water Matters" June Lecture Features Senator Peter Wirth
Tuesday, June 18, at 5:30pm
Santa Fe Community Foundation
501 Halona Street, Santa Fe
The Amigos Bravos free monthly lecture series “Water Matters” will feature Senator Peter Wirth speaking on "Drought, Climate Change, and the New Mexico economy – Learning to thrive with Less" on June 18th.
Senator Wirth is Chair of the Senate Conservation Committee as well as a member of the Drought Subcommittee and an advisor to the Water and Natural Resources Committee, among other legislative roles. Senator Wirth states on his website: “No issue is more important to New Mexico’s future than water. The severe drought, a pending lawsuit in the US Supreme Court filed by Texas against New Mexico, projections of zero water delivery from the Rio Grande to farmers south of Elephant Butte, climate change, endangered species. The list of challenges goes on and on... One thing is certain, as Chair of the Senate Conservation Committee, I plan to elevate the water discussion and proactively work with my colleagues to look for solutions.”
Senator Wirth has been the recipient of the Jack Taylor “Best in Government” award from Common Cause New Mexico and recognized by Conservation Voters New Mexico as a “Green Champion.”
In conjunction with the lecture, and in celebration of its 25th year of protecting and restoring the waters of New Mexico, Amigos Bravos will be selling tickets at the door for its Annual Raffle for the Rio.
The Amigos Bravos "Water Matters" Lectures are hosted on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm, and are free to the Amigos Bravos membership and the public.
The Santa Fe Community Foundation is located at the corner of Halona and Paseo de Peralta, between Old Santa Fe Trail and Acequia Madre. (If you are driving/walking on Paseo de Peralta toward Acequia Madre from Old Santa Fe Trail, Halona and the SFCF will be on your right). Parking is available on Halona Street. For more information, call 575-751-3669 or 505-988-9715.
New Mexico’s Drinking Water Under Attack:
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) will go before the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) beginning April 9 to present its proposed water quality rules for the copper mining industry. After an 8-month stakeholder process to develop a draft rule that would be protective of groundwater at copper mine sites and provide regulatory certainty to industry, NMED upper-level managers ignored the recommendations of their technical staff and NMED Advisory Committee and rewrote the proposed rule.
Help Us Defeat Proposed Water Quality Rules for the Copper Mining Industry
The proposed rule:
• Would give the mining industry the right to pollute.
• Is in direct conflict with the State Water Quality Act that requires polluters to prevent groundwater contamination during their operations.
• Would give the mining industry the right to pollute future drinking water supplies and impact the health of people and communities.
• Could pave the way for other polluters to demand similar rollbacks in water quality safeguards. This would lower the cost of doing business for the polluter while transferring the cost of clean up and the cost to address public health outcomes to New Mexico taxpayers.
The hearing will begin at 9:00am on April 9, 2013 in Room 307 at the NM State Capitol in Santa Fe. Hearing dates are: April 9-11, April 16-18, April 23-25, April 30-May 2. Public testimony will be taken from 5:00-7:00pm on the evenings of April 10 & 11 in Apodaca Hall, Old PERA Building, 1120 Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe – and in Silver City on May 3 from 4:00pm-7:00pm at the Global Resource Center, Western NM University, 817 West 12th Street.
Written public comments can also be submitted up to the last day of the hearing (May 2nd). Comments should be sent to: Pam Castañeda, Commission Administrator, New Mexico Environment Department, 1190 S. St. Francis Drive N2168, P.O. Box 5469, Santa Fe, New Mexico USA 87502 -- E-mail: Pam.Castaneda@state.nm.us
For more information click here. Thanks for your help!
Court of Appeals Rules: City of Albuquerque Diverting Water Illegally
After eight years since we first filed the lawsuit and four years of deliberation, the Court of Appeals released its decision on our lawsuit against the City of Albuquerque's diversion of native Rio Grande water. The court recognized the importance of the case and ruled in our favor.
To quote from the beginning of a 68 page decision:
"In this significant case, we hold that granting a permit based on an application to divert water, to which an applicant holds no appropriative right and affirmatively asserts no beneficial use of the water diverted, was unsupported by law."
The City has been and is currently diverting water from the Rio Grande without a right. We have always contended that the diversion of Native Water in this situation is drying up the river, impacting downstream users, and adversely impacting New Mexico's delivery obligations under the Rio Grande Compact. Water attorneys in New Mexico have called this case one of the most important cases in the history of New Mexico water law. Unfortunately, because the Court of Appeals has remanded the case back to District Court, we are not finished – and all bets are that the case will end up in the NM Supreme Court.
Amigos Bravos Offers Clean Water Act Workshops
Amigos Bravos, in cooperation with the Southwest Rural Policy Network, is offering a series of Clean Water Act Workshops. Individuals and organizations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern Colorado interested in sponsoring a workshop in their communities can schedule a workshop by contacting us. For more information about the workshops click here.
New Mexico Supreme Court Recognizes Amigos Bravos’ Right to Defend New Mexico’s Waters
In two seperate cases, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Amigos Bravos has a right to defend its interest in clean water.
The cases both involve industry attacks on new rules approved at the end of 2010: one setting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits – approved by the Environmental Improvement Board, and one designating rivers, streams, and wetlands located in U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Areas as “Outstanding National Resource Waters” (ONRWs). Amigos Bravos had been denied the right to intervene in the NM Court of Appeals on behalf of our interest in clean water. Not allowing public interest groups like Amigos Bravos to participate in court challenges would have left no one to defend clean air and water against industry interests because the Martinez Administration is bent on overturning the greenhouse gas rules and other environmental safeguards,
We are extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s wise decision that gives citizens and the environment a voice in defending the air we breath and the water we drink. The decision is especially important in the current political climate that favors economic interests over human health.
Previously, in January 2011, the New Mexico Supreme Court gave Amigos Bravos an additional important victory in our efforts to hold Governor Martinez's administration accountable to the rule of law. Within hours of taking office, the Martinez administration illegally brought to a halt steps in process for establishing new safeguards that protect the air we breath and the water we drink. In quick and dynamic response, Amigos Bravos,and a coalition of groups, represented by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene. In its decision, the Court recognized abuse of basic separation of powers issues, and mandated that the new greenhouse gas and dairy rules be published in the state register immediately. Chief Justice Daniels expressed the Court's opinion that the constitutional issues regarding the separation of powers raised in Amigos Bravos vs. Martinez are of "great public importance." The Court will provide a written decision in order to clarify their ruling on the issues and provide future guidance.
For links to more information click on: