KUNM

air pollution

Andre Ininiemima via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Health advocates want money from an $18 million settlement from Volkswagen to be invested in new electric school buses in order to improve the state’s air quality.

Rashad Mahmood

A neighborhood association and an environmental justice group say a gasoline distribution plant is polluting the air in a low-income area of Albuquerque. The city will hold a hearing on the plant Wednesday.

Ed Williams

Voters in Bernalillo County are gearing up to elect a new commissioner in next week’s general election.

Republican Patricia Paiz is squaring off against Democrat Steven Michael Quezada to take over as commissioner for District 2—an area that includes the South Valley and West Mesa.

The race could shape the county’s policies on industrial pollution and community health.

Ed Williams

Under the Civil Rights Act, local governments that receive federal money are prohibited from discriminating against low-income people of color. But people in some parts of Albuquerque say that’s exactly what the city is doing by putting polluting businesses in poor Hispanic neighborhoods.

Now a federal investigation is underway to see if those claims are true.

Rashad Mahmood/KUNM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s opening a civil rights investigation into Albuquerque and Bernalillo County air pollution policies.

Ed Williams

The new Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is a place of firsts: it’s the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest and the first wildlife refuge in the country to have an environmental justice plan. It's also the first time kids in one largely Hispanic community have had a wild outdoor space to play in close by.

Ed Williams

Air pollution is a serious problem for some neighborhoods in Albuquerque—especially in low-income areas that border an industrial zone south of downtown.

littlevisuals.co via Pexels / Creative Commons

A large fire broke out at a metal recycling plant in Albuquerque early Saturday morning. Bernalillo County issued a warning to neighbors during the fire, saying to stay inside and not breathe the potentially toxic smoke.

SkyTruth; BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Flickr via Creative Commons

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just announced a joint effort to cut down on methane leaks from oil and gas wells. The agreement was part of the Paris climate accord and will have impacts here in New Mexico.

Karen McCullough

In some parts of Bernalillo County’s South Valley, parks sit adjacent to idling trains, schools lie across the street from waste disposal businesses, and entire neighborhoods are bordered by polluting industries. People living there are what’s known as environmental justice communities—neighborhoods that bear a disproportionate burden of pollution.

A company that leaked toxic dry cleaning chemicals into the groundwater near downtown Albuquerque is planning to test the air in nearby homes to see if the chemicals pose a health risk to people living on top of the contamination. 

Big, Toxic and Still Not Cleaned Up

Oct 7, 2015
Rashad Mahmood-Public Health New Mexico

A plume of toxic dry cleaning chemicals has been moving through Albuquerque's groundwater for at least two decades. At 35 feet deep and at least a mile and a half long, it's closer to the surface and covers more distance than the Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill. And the chemicals in the groundwater, called TCE and PCE, cause cancer, birth defects and neurological problems. 

Ed Williams

When state environment workers were taking groundwater samples in downtown Albuquerque back in the 1990s, they discovered a large plume of a solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE—a toxic chemical that causes cancer and birth defects—just 35 feet below the ground. 

Ed Williams

The Obama Administration recently proposed new standards that would reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations across the country, and environmental advocates say the new rules could have some health benefits for people living near gas wells.

Ed Williams

The idea to build a road connecting the Sunport with Rio Bravo Blvd started back in the late 1980s. But county planners back then ran into a roadblock: the street would need to cut through the South Valley Superfund site just west of I-25 where the Environmental Protection Agency was busy cleaning up groundwater contamination from weapons factories that used to be there.

Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is preparing for the construction of a highway interchange connecting the Sunport to Broadway Blvd. 

The road project has been in the works for years but is just now nearing the end of the planning process. The county says the road will improve access to the South Valley from the airport, and hopes it will spur more business development in the area and make commuting easier for people in the San Jose neighborhood.

Bernalillo County rejected the application this week of a Florida company, Humic Growth Solutions, that wants to build a fertilizer plant next to a residential neighborhood south of Albuquerque.  

Zoning Administrator Juanita Garcia issued her decision Tuesday, saying the information the company provided in its application was too vague, and did not address the health and safety concerns of people living nearby.

Mark Bray via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The sound of city garbage trucks cruising the streets is familiar to most of us. But it’s a sound many people in Albuquerque’s North Valley are worried they’ll be hearing too much of, if the city’s proposal to build a trash center here goes through. Neighbors like Peggy Norton say the plan is a threat to the surrounding area.