Amigos Bravos

Because Water Matters — Since 1988

We have a vision of New Mexico’s rivers and streams running so clear and clean that you can bend a knee to the water, cup your hands, and drink without fear.


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Ecological Systems: An ecological system (ecosystem) is a community of living organisms and the environmental features that support them. Everything in the natural world is connected, and therefore so is everything in an ecosystem.  See more >>

Energy Development: Energy development is the effort to provide sufficient energy sources and forms to aid the survival and advancement of the human population. Technologically advanced societies have become increasingly dependent on external energy sources for transportation, the production of manufactured goods, and the delivery of energy services.  See more >>

Mining Reform: Amigos Bravos has provided assistance to many communities adversely affected by extractive industries. In addition to our long-standing campaign against pollution from the Molycorp mine in Questa, we have worked with communities affected by sand & gravel, copper, and mica operations.  See more >>



The following is a list of websites for federal agencies that routinely produce environmental documents or may have information of interest.

Department of Agriculture

Department of Commerce

Department of Defense

Department of Energy

Department of the Interior

Department of Transportation

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Bureau of Land Management

Army Corps of Engineers

Council on Environmental Quality

Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Federal Highway Administration

Fish and Wildlife Service

Food and Drug Administration

Government Printing Office

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Park Service

National Science Foundation

Occupational Health and Safety Administration

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

General Accounting Office


These sites can also be useful for finding environmental documents, including legislation.
The Library of Congress maintains this legislative service named for Thomas Jefferson. It contains bills, links to bill sponsors, legislative history, Congressional record references, reports, and accompanying documents back to 1973.
The National Technical Information Service can provide information about copies of numerous environmental documents.
This legal reference site contains an index of – and links to – laws, codes, law reviews, legal organizations, and law school information.
The Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute has a U.S. Code website with an update service providing recent changes to particular code sections.


Following are the major State agencies and the state offices of Federal agencies that deal with conservation and the environment in New Mexico.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
(Manages wildlife populations and hunting & fishing permits)
PO Box 25112
Santa Fe NM 87504
(505) 476-8000

U.S. Bureau of Land Management
(Manages the use of federal public lands)
This link provides information about all BLM offices and activities in New Mexico

New Mexico Environment Department
(Responsible for groundwater, surface water, and drinking water quality)
PO Box 26110
Santa Fe NM 87502
(505) 827-2773

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 (South Central: NM, TX, OK, AR, LA)
(Administers 319 programs, NPDES discharge permits, and CERCLA/Superfund programs)
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 665-6444 / (800) 887-6063

New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division
(Administers mining and reclamation permits)
1220 South St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe NM 87505
(505) 476-3400

U.S. Forest Service/Carson National Forest
(Manages most of the headwater and streamside lands in the watershed)
208 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM 87571
(505) 758-6200

New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
(Administers New Mexico water rights and water transfers)
PO Box 25102
Santa Fe, NM 87504
(505) 827-6175

U.S. Geological Survey – New Mexico Water Science Center
(Stream flow monitoring and mapping services)
5338 Montgomery NM, Suite 400
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 830-7900 / (888) 275-8747

New Mexico Soil and Water Conservation District
(Education and services for local natural resources conservation)
This link provides information about all SWCDs in New Mexico and their activities

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service – New Mexico
(Conserves natural resources on private lands: formerly SCS)
This link provides information on NRCS offices and activities in New Mexico

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Albuquerque Office
(Administers Section 404 permits for dredging or filling stream channels)
4001 Jefferson Plaza NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 342-3109

New Mexico Legislature
(find legislators, track bills, identify committee members, follow Interim Committee meetings)  


The following is a list of major environmental laws. Listed under each law are key programs and regulations that may result in the generation of environmental documents. Federal environmental laws are printed in the United States Code (U.S.C.). Statues are frequently referred to by the section number in the bill as passed by Congress before placement in the U.S.C system. In the table below, these numbers appear in parentheses following the name of the key program or provision. The U.S. C. number is listed beside it. You may need either or both to find what you need or understand what you read. The table also contains citations to the pertinent regulations in the Coda of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). The C.F.R. is divided into "Parts" with sections within each part; for example, a citation to 40 C.F.R. §6.604 refers to Title 40, Part 6, Section 604.

42 U.S.C. §§7401-7671q

State Implementation Plans (§110) 42 U.S.C. §7410
40 C.F.R. part 51
New Source Permits (§§172, 173) 42 U.S.C. §§7502,7503
40 C.F.R. Parts 70, 71

33 U.S.C. §§1251-1387

State Water Quality Management Plans (§§208, 303 (e)) 33 U.S.C. §§1288, 1313(e)
40 C.F.R. Part 130
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (§402) 33 U.S.C. §1342
40 C.F.R. Parts 122, 123, 125, 129
Dredge or Fill Permits (§404) 33 U.S.C. §1344
40 C.F.R. Parts 230-233
33 C.F.R. Parts 320-330

16 U.S.C. §§1451-1465

Coastal Zone Management Programs (§306) 16 U.S.C. §1455
15 C.F.R. Part 923
Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs (§306A) 16 U.S.C. §1455b

42 U.S.C. §§9601-9675

Emergency Response (§106) 42 U.S.C. §9606
40 C.F.R. Part 300
Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Studies and Proposed Plans (§§106,121) 42 U.S.C. §§96-6,9621
40 C.F.R. Part 300
Settlements (§122) 42 U.S.C. §9622

42 U.S.C. §§11001-11050

Emergency Plans and Notification (§§303, 304) 42 U.S.C. §§11003,11004
40 C.F.R. Part 355
Reporting Requirements (§§311, 312, 313) 42 U.S.C. §§11021, 11022, 11023
40 C.F.R. Parts 370, 372, 373

16 U.S.C. §§1531-1544

Endangered and Threatened Species Determinations (§4) 16 U.S.C. §1533
50 C.F.R. Part 17

7 U.S.C. §§136-136Y

Pesticide Registrations (§3) 7 U.S.C. §136a
40 C.F.R. Parts 152-155, 158
Reregistrations (§4) 7 U.S.C. §136a-1
40 C.F.R. Parts 152
Administrative Reviews and Suspensions (§6) 7 U.S.C. §136d
40 C.F.R. Part 164

43 U.S.C. §§1701-1785

Land Use Plans (§202) 43 U.S.C. §1712
43 C.F.R. Part 1600
Sales of Public Lands (§203) 43 U.S.C. §1713
40 C.F.R. Parts 2710
Withdrawals of Lands (§204) 43 U.S.C. §1714
43 C.F.R. Part 2300
Exchange of Lands (§206) 43 U.S.C. §1716
43 C.F.R. Part 2200
Grazing Leases and Permits (§402) 43 U.S.C. §1752
43 C.F.R. Part 4100

33 U.S.C. §§1401-1434

Ocean Dumping Permits (§§102, 104) 33 U.S.C. §§1412,1414
40 C.F.R. Part 324
40 C.F.R. Parts 220-225, 227, 228

42 U.S.C. §§4321-4370d

Environmental Impact Statements (§102) 42 U.S.C. §4332
40 C.F.R. Parts 1500-1508
Each Agency has its own regulations.

16 U.S.C. §§1600-1687

National Forest System Land and Resource Management Plans (§6) 16 U.S.C. §1604
36 C.F.R. Part 219

42 U.S.C. §§6901-6992K

Hazardous Waste, Treatment, Storage, or Disposal Permits (§3005) 42 U.S.C. §6925
40 C.F.R. Part 270
Solid Waste Plans (§4003) 42 U.S.C. §6943
40 C.F.R. Parts 256-258

30 U.S.C. §§1201-1328

Surface Coal Mining Permits (§506) 30 U.S.C. §1256
30 C.F.R. Parts 773,774

15 U.S.C. §§2601-2692

Manufacturing and Processing Notices (§5) 15 U.S.C. §2604
40 C.F.R. Parts 720,721


The Clean Water Act Owner's Manual, 2nd Edition
This straightforward, plain-English guide to the Clean Water Act focuses on public involvement opportunities and is a valuable resource for anyone involved in any aspect of water work.

River Network also has an online course tied to the CWA Owner's Manual. The course is designed to give you options for learning about the Clean Water Act based on your interests. Course content is structured to help you: isolate specific problems; identify possible solutions; develop and leverage existing programs; and build effective outreach tools. The goal is to help you understand the laws established to protect our diverse waters and the power you have to exercise this knowledge.

Urban Stream Restoration
A video tour (61 minutes) of six urban stream restoration sites with background information on how the projects were funded and organized with community involvement, the history and principles of restoration, and beautiful examples of restored streams with detailed instructions and graphic illustrations. Includes examples of stream restoration in very urbanized areas, recreating stream shapes and meanders, creek daylighting, soil bioengineering, and ecological flood control projects. Ann Riley, a nationally known hydrologist, stream restoration professional, and executive director of the Waterways?Restoration Institute in Berkeley, California, leads the tour.

Restoring Riverfronts: A Guide to Selected Federal Funding Sources
Is your community working on a riverfront revitalization or restoration project? American Rivers' funding guide can help. Although it is a little outdated, it is still a good place to start looking for ideas.

American Rivers' Toolkits For River Conservation
American Rivers' website has lots of how-to documents, reports, and other resources to tackle a variety of river restoration projects. Here are links to:
* River Cleanups
* Take Action

Delaware Riverkeepers – Water Watch Toolkits
Delaware Riverkeepers provides information and resources to local watershed groups, restoration practitioners, and volunteer monitors who implement stream restoration projects and who are seeking inexpensive, effective volunteer-based monitoring techniques to assess restoration projects. For example, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network utilized the toolkit in their Adopt-A-Buffer Initiative to help monitor over 80 restoration projects in the Delaware Watershed.
* Adopt-a-Buffer Toolkit
* Water Monitoring Protocols
* Visual Assessment Monitoring Tools

Rivers of Power: A Citizen's Guide to Hydropower and River Restoration
Friends of the River's special full-color report on the opportunities and challenges of restoring rivers by changing the way we produce power from them. This 16-page publication highlights the hydropower licensing process and how citizens can get involved in improving their favorite river. Included is a California map of 61 hydro projects coming up for relicensing in the coming years and an extensive list of references and contacts.

Listening to Watersheds: A Community-Based Approach to Watershed Protection
The focus in writing Listening to Watersheds was to begin a dialogue with Native communities about the knowledge and beliefs central to their watershed assessment work producing better assessments and healthier watersheds. The guidebook answers the questions of why, what, where, when, who, and how of developing, testing, and re-evaluating the methods used to assess watershed health.

Permitting An End To Pollution
Prairie Rivers Network, Clean Water Network, and River Network teamed up to create this book, based heavily on an Illinois-specific guide created by Rob Moore of Prairie Rivers Network. This national version is intended to help create an army of citizens poised to demand better permits and cleaner water by providing the tools you need to begin analyzing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits in your state. The guide systematically walks you through finding out about proposed or existing NPDES permits in your area, reviewing their contents, submitting your comments to your state water quality agency, and connecting the information that you collect to other parts of the Clean Water Act.

Tracking TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads)
Tracking TMDLs: A Field Guide for Evaluating Proposed Watershed Restoration Plans was produced by the National Wildlife Federation and River Network as a straightforward guide to review and comment on TMDL watershed cleanup plans. It offers step-by-step information about the TMDL program and follows TMDL development on the imaginary Sique River. Opportunities for public input and participation come alive through questions that you can ask your state water quality agency and tips on how to build community support and tap into local resources.

Of related interest is EPA’s site on “Impaired Water and TMDLs”

Clean Water Network – Use Attainability Analysis Toolkit
The Clean Water Network is broad-based alliance of national, regional and local groups that came together to protect and strengthen the federal Clean Water Act. This toolkit explains the Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) process and how to become involved. Surface water quality standards are based on “Designated Uses”, such as wildlife, aquatic life, grazing, and human contact. As conditions and circumstances change on a stream, there may be efforts to change the Designated Use(s) using a UAA.

The Art of Commenting: How to Influence Environmental Decision-Making with Effective Comments
Elizabeth D. Mullin, Environmental Law Institute


National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI)
NEMI is a free web-based online clearinghouse of environmental monitoring methods provided by the EPA and the USGS. NEMI has a database of method summaries of laboratory and field protocols for regulatory and non-regulatory related water-quality analyses. NEMI users can compare methods at a glance, find the method that best meets their needs, and share monitoring data among different agencies, using different methods at different times.

Urbanized Area Maps for Stormwater Programs and Permits
EPA has developed a set of digitized maps for each urbanized area as defined by the 2000 US Census. These maps are intended to assist authorized states (and EPA Regional Offices for unauthorized states – such as New Mexico) as they develop their Phase II municipal stormwater programs and permits. Municipalities will find these maps useful as they outline the area that will require coverage under an NPDES permit and in the development and implementation of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Enforcement and Compliance History On-Line (ECHO)
* ECHO provides fast, integrated searches of EPA and state data for 800,000+ regulated facilities.
* ECHO integrates inspection, violation, and enforcement for the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws.
* ECHO also includes Safe Drinking Water Act data, Toxics Release Inventory data, National Emissions Inventory data, and Water Quality Data

Atlas Of American's Polluted Waters
EPA report 840-B-00-002, May 2000
The map shows waters within each state that do not meet state water quality standards. The map is based on 1998 303d (impaired waters) lists, but is still a good starting point for comparison with current state waters impairments.

National Water Quality Inventory
1998 Report To Congress – EPA report841-R-00-001
This report describes an assessment of a third of the nation’s rivers, lakes and estuaries and determined that 40% were too polluted for fishing and swimming (the goal of the Clean Water Act: “fishable and swimmable”). The report is outdated, but like the Atlas (above) is useful as a point of comparison with current water quality.

Nationwide Rivers Inventory
The National Park Service's Rivers and Trails program has produced a Nationwide Rivers Inventory (NRI) containing a listing of over 3000 free-flowing river segments that contain "outstandingly remarkable" characteristics that could potentially qualify them for Wild and Scenic River designation.

National Wetlands Research Center
The National Wetlands Research Center is a source and clearinghouse of science information about wetlands in the United States and the world. Resources include publications, GIS data, and maps.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch?website gives visitors an instantaneous picture of water conditions?nationwide in near real time. USGS WaterWatch state-level maps show current streamflow conditions, including high flood-flows?and low drought-flows, on maps with color-coded dots that?represent conditions at about 3,000 stream gages.

Comprehensive Recreation Information for Western Public Lands
The Public Lands Information Center is the result of a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, and the Public Lands Interpretive Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to education about the natural and cultural resources of the lands held in the public trust. The Public Lands Information Center website contains a state by state, comprehensive, up-to-date database of every recreation area in the west, maps, guidebooks, histories and natural history titles, information on the managing agencies, and a Public Lands Museum which explores the history of public lands.

Field Guides to Plants and Animals
This site offers online searchable field guides to over 4,800 plant and animal species, derived from 35 Audubon Society Field Guides, Regional Guides, and Nature Guides. The database is keyword-searchable by group (mammals, amphibians, fishes, trees, etc.) or browseable within subheadings for each group. The field guide entries include a large thumbnail image, description, and varying additional information. While the field guides alone make the site worth a visit, there is more, including an Ask an Expert message board, Habitat Guides, news features, tips for teachers, and a comprehensive Outdoor Planner.


EPA – Nonpoint Source (NPS) Information
EPA’s NPS site deals with all aspects of NPS pollution – such as stormwater runoff – and pollution prevention.

Information on NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act)
NEPAnet links to NEPA and CEQ (Council on Environmental Quality) implementation regulations and guidance.

Environmental Resource Web (erWEB)
Environmental Resource Web (erWEB) is a comprehensive web utility that conveys current information about the environmental sector, helping people understand and utilize the products and services of the emerging environmental industry. erWEB links all components of the environmental industry with related news, facts and statistics, events, market information, and spatial data.

The Wildlands Project
The Project provides the latest information on efforts to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America. Visitors can search back issues of Wild Earth, download selected wild readings, become a member, and take action for the wild.

The goal of WaterWiser is to be the premier water conservation, efficiency, and demand management information resource. WaterWiser is an interactive web site that strives to meet the information needs of the water conservation community and the drinking water industry. WaterWiser provides news, information, research results, discussion forums, references, calendar of events, searchable information databases, and other resources primarily targeted to water conservation professionals, but freely accessible to others in the water industry and the general public.

Endangered Rivers and the Conservation Movement (2nd edition)
In Endangered Rivers and the Conservation Movement, Tim Palmer chronicles the development of a national consciousness that values our rivers as lifelines for wildlife, fisheries, parks, wilderness, recreation, and communities. Updated and including two new chapters that chart the course of conservation during the past twenty years, as well as exploring how the movement to protect rivers will likely change in the twenty-first century, Endangered Rivers and the Conservation Movement will fascinate all who seek to understand environmental history, resources management, and the evolution of government programs in response to people’s changing needs.

Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER)
For over ten years, TIAER has worked with industry to shape workable solutions to nationwide environmental problems in nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. The TIAER site contains news, executive briefings, a Research Library, watershed studies, computer modeling, and scientific efforts. The primary audience is legislators, legislative staff, policy analysts, and industry leaders, but economists, scientists, citizens, and students will also find items of interest, such as topics in nutrient flow, modeling of economic and environmental effects, and watershed studies.

Toward Understanding New Watershed Initiatives
This report focuses on the "new watershed approach" and details how the "new approach" evolved and what makes it different from other watershed approach initiatives in the past. The report also includes a section on how to evaluate new watershed initiatives as well as descriptions of the key factors in achieving success. This report is a great tool for groups that are starting new projects or are interested in evaluating current projects.

Conserve Water Educator's Guide
A new guide for teachers of students in Grades 6-12 contains a innovative, challenging, and fun activities and case studies to help explore water conservation issues. The guide is produced by The Watercourse, a not-for-profit water science and education program based at Montana State University.

Wetlands And Urbanization: Implications For The Future - Final Report of the Puget Sound Wetlands and Stormwater Management Research Program
Wetlands and Urbanization presents an integrated watershed approach to the scientific evaluation of the impact of landscape urbanization on wetland functions. It associates the source of impact (the landscape) with the sink (the wetland), relates findings to implications for future planning and management of watersheds, and provides a model for future comprehensive investigations of wetland impacts from urbanization. The target audience is public utilities, regulatory agencies, agribusiness, private industry, and environmental groups.

Texas Coastal Wetlands Guidebook
This book describes the different types of wetlands along the coast, gives information on wetlands accessible to the public, and provides phone numbers and web sites to turn to for more information.


EMagazine’s Online Directory of Environmental Products & Services
Emagazine makes a variety of green options easy for you to browse, whether you are looking for friendly household products, gift ideas, or want to research companies. Most items are available under the “Inside E” tab.

Stormwater Journal
Stormwater is the leading publication for stormwater professionals – those with specific surface water quality responsibilities. It is published 8 times each year with information on NPDES Phase II compliance, TMDLs, and other issues related to surface water quality.

Aquatic and Ecosystem Health Management Journal
The major objective of this journal is to promote understanding of the structure, function and performance of healthy and damaged aquatic ecosystems (freshwater, Marine, estuarine) from integrated, multi-disciplinary, and sustainable perspectives. The journal focuses on the development and application of management practices that will protect, maintain, remediate, or restore the health of these ecosystems and their sustainable use by humans. It seeks to foster international and cross-sector exchange of information among scientists, academics, managers, engineers, lawyers, citizens, politicians, business, industry, and governments on the health and sustainability of global aquatic resources.