Monday News Roundup

Jul 22, 2013

People Near Superfund Site Say Cleanup Is Too Slow - Associated Press and the Albuquerque Journal

Homeowners living near a Superfund site in northern New Mexico say the effort to clean up contaminants from a tailings pile left at the abandoned Homestake uranium mill is moving too slowly.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the site's owner says it expects to have the site near Milan cleaned up by 2020.

Sixty-two area landowners who filed a class-action lawsuit in 1983 had allege that Homestake had known for years that uranium and other toxins were leaching into groundwater.

Homestake settled the lawsuit in 1983 under a consent decree in which Homestake agreed to extend Milan's water system to homes near the tailings pile and pay for their water until 1995.

By then, Homestake assured residents, the groundwater would be cleaned up and the wells safe to use.

BLM To Remove 1,300 Mustangs In West This Summer - Associated Press

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they plan to remove only 1,300 wild horses and burros from the range across the West this summer because of budget constraints and overflowing holding pens.

Overall, they intend to remove about 4,800 of the animals from the range this fiscal year ending Sept. 30 compared with 8,255 the previous fiscal year.

They made the announcement on Friday, about a month after 30 U.S. representatives urged new U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to make a priority out of reforming the government's wild horse management program and its spiraling budget.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign criticized the BLM's plans, saying the captured animals will be added to government-funded holding facilities that are already at capacity with 50,000 wild horses and burros at taxpayer expense.

Most of the BLM's summer roundups will be conducted in Nevada, home to roughly half of the estimated 37,000 free-roaming wild horses and burros in the West.

Roundups also are scheduled in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and Oregon.

NMSU To Hold Roundtable On Drought Assistance - Associated Press

New Mexico State University is holding a forum this week to discuss drought assistance programs.

The program will be held Tuesday during its Rancher's Roundtable at NMSU's Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability in Corona.

Center Superintendent Shad Cox says there are various programs to assist agricultural producers financially during the drought, so the school has assembled a panel of representatives from various federal and state agencies to explain them.

The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Juvenile Center To House 24 Offenders - Associated Press

The state Children, Youth and Families Department says a new juvenile detention center in southern New Mexico will be called the Lincoln Pines Youth Center.

The facility near Fort Stanton is scheduled to open in October and will house two dozen medium risk juvenile offenders.

The center is at the location of the former Camp Sierra Blanca, a state juvenile justice facility that closed four years ago.

The Legislature earlier this year provided money for improvements to the facility in Lincoln County.

The department said the name of the detention center was selected from recommendations by area residents and juveniles in state facilities.

Albuquerque Dealer Wants Seized Weapons Returned - Associated Press and the Albuquerque Journal

An Albuquerque firearms dealer is demanding that federal authorities return to him the 1,559 firearms that were seized from his business and home back in January.

Bob Adams hasn't been charged with any crimes or violations of federal gun regulations, and his lawyers say the seizures went beyond what warrants authorized and that the warrants themselves were faulty.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the guns were seized as part of an investigation into allegations of illegal importation of firearms and of avoidance of taxes and custom duties.

Prosecutors say they still expect charges to be filed. They say the investigation has been hindered because many of the weapons lack required manufacturing or importation numbers.