The Conservation Beat
3:45 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Toxic Chemicals Dumped in NM Waterways

A new report from Environment New Mexico finds that thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals were dumped into state waterways by industry in 2010. 

The report was compiled using data from the Environment Protection Agency, which keeps tabs on 231 chemicals released into waterways across the country.

Of the roughly 50,000 pounds dumped in New Mexico, 46,000 came from Holloman Air Force Base near Alamagordo and were classified by the EPA primarily as nitrate compounds.

Environment New Mexico’s Maxine Paul says a 2006 decision by the Supreme Court held that Clean Water Act protections do not apply to seasonal streams...and that accounts for the majority of waterways in New Mexico.

She says new guidelines proposed by the Obama administration would change that.  But opponents say the new rules would create a burdensome mess of red tape.