Clean Water Circuit Rider |
In December 2002, Amigos Bravos initiated our Clean Water Circuit Rider Program, the core component of our Clean Water Initiative. Rachel Conn, with support from others on the staff, assists communities across the state to use the Clean Water Act to protect and restore their rivers. The goal of the Program is to increase the capacity of New Mexico communities to restore polluted river systems and to deal with future pollution problems. The Circuit Rider Program is designed to help communities develop and implement strategic plans to clean up their rivers, train community members in using the Clean Water Act, and assist communities faced with emerging problems or emergency spills.
Our Clean Water Circuit Rider “translates” the Clean Water Act’s complex technical and regulatory language for local officials, grassroots organizations, and the public. As communities make a request for assistance, the Circuit Rider meets with interested parties at public meetings to hear local concerns and explain which aspects of the CWA might be most helpful. Then, using her own expertise and that of others at Amigos Bravos – in concert with our network of technical and legal resources and input from the community – the Circuit Rider helps develop and implement an appropriate strategy for addressing the community’s issue. This strategy applies whether pollution is occurring from mining, stormwater runoff, or wastewater dumping, and is also used to address water diversion issues and to prepare a community for the task of effectively navigating a state or federally imposed permitting process.
The Clean Water Circuit Rider provides affected communities with an innovative method of cleaning up their polluted rivers and could create a model for similar action nationwide.