On Monday the New Mexico Supreme Court made two rulings that affect how proposed amendments to regulate wastewater from the dairy industry will proceed.
The morning kicked off with arguments over whether the attorney general would be allowed to take part in the upcoming rulemaking hearing. A lawyer for the Water Quality Control Commission—which previously barred the Democratic AG from being there—said the New Mexico Environment Department, appointed by the governor, is already representing the state’s interest. But in the end, the justices unanimously ruled that when it comes to protecting New Mexico’s groundwater, the AG has every a right to present testimony and cross-examine witnesses.
The court’s second decision today had to do with where the hearings will take place. In the end, even though whatever rules come out of the hearing will affect all dairies across New Mexico, a majority of the justices voted to allow them to be held in Roswell instead of Santa Fe.