KUNM

environment

pixel2013 via Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/en/america-mexico-border-elections-1999384/ / Creative Commons

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s administration last week targeting a plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The group is calling for the federal government to investigate the wall’s environmental impacts. 

Mexico/New Mexico borderland, NASA Landsat, courtesy UNM MAGIC

Afternoon Freeform Tuesday 4/4, 3p: We continue our series of conversations with presenters at the interdisciplinary environmental justice forum Decolonizing Nature: Resistance, Resilience, Revitalization that takes place April 19 - 22, 2017 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Inside Energy / Inside Energy

After thousands protested for months on the North Dakota prairie, the Dakota Access Pipeline is moving forward under President Trump.  But the battle over this controversial project continues in court.

A new documentary looks at multiple instances of tribal resistance to energy development called Beyond Standing Rock.  It's produced by Inside Energy, a public media project focused on America's energy issues. 

San Juan Citizens Alliance/EcoFlight / with permission

KUNM Call In Show 3/30 8a: President Trump signed an executive order this week rolling back environmental regulations. It ends a moratorium on coal mine leases and eases restrictions on methane flaring by the oil and gas industry, among other things. We'll explore what this means for New Mexico. Are environmental regulations hurting or helping the economy here? What is the government's role in protecting the environment? We'd like to hear from you. Email callinshow@kunm.org or call in live during the show. 

The Encampment

Mar 23, 2017
Ann Arbor Miller/Minnesota Public Radio News / used with permission

The Encampment Friday 3/24 8a: For almost a year, hundreds of people continuously occupied a strip of land along the Missouri River in North Dakota, in the hope that the mere fact of their presence would help change the course of America’s energy future. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

President Donald Trump signed an executive action on Tuesday approving the Dakota Access Pipeline, which water protectors have been working to stop for months. In Albuquerque on Wednesday, people gathered outside the tall Wells Fargo bank Downtown to try and stanch the flow of money to the project known as DAPL. 

National Nuclear Security Administration via Wikimedia Commons/public domain

The nation’s only underground nuclear waste dump is back in operation again. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad stored low level nuclear waste deep in the earth Wednesday for the first time since the facility was closed following a fire and a radiation leak in early 2014.

The New Mexico Environment Department enforces hazardous waste regulations at WIPP. Secretary Butch Tongate says they’ve reviewed procedures, equipment, safety protocols and permit compliance at the facility.

LISTEN/WATCH: Second Congressional District Candidate Forum

Oct 28, 2016
KRWG-TV

Second District U.S. Representative Republican Steve Pearce and his challenger businesswoman and engineer Democrat Merrie Lee Soules discussed their priorities and how they plan to serve New Mexicans at a forum in Las Cruces on October 27, 2016. 

 

Joe Catron via Flickr / Creative Commons License

UNM’s Kiva Club, a Native American issues student club, and a Native American Studies class are holding a demonstration Thursday to show solidarity with tribes from across the country that are protesting the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.  

Audubon New Mexico

Fall is in the air and so are the birds. Find out which species migrate and which make New Mexico their home year round with our friends from Audubon New Mexico.

Sarah Gustavus

KUNM Call In Show 7/28 8a: New Mexico is known for its incredible outdoor beauty. Are you taking advantage of opportunities to hike, bike, paddle or camp in state and national parks this summer? What does time in the outdoors mean to you? What keeps you from spending more time in nature? 

Lance Cpl. Matthew K. Hacker via Wikipedia / creative commons license

For the first time in 40 years, the federal government is changing the way it regulates toxic chemicals. The new chemical safety act will overhaul a 1970's-era law by giving the Environmental Protection Agency more oversight.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, who sponsored the bill, says New Mexicans don’t have any local oversight of dangerous chemicals in household products, which leaves people here especially vulnerable.

Climate Activist Kids

May 24, 2016
Our Children's Trust, CC

The Children's Hour welcomed kids who are actively trying to save the planet. Aji Piper joined us from Seattle to talk about the lawsuit that he and 19 other kids are involved with to hold governments accountable for pollution. The kids are winning their cases, and that's good news for us all. This show was recorded live at KUNM on May 28, 2016.


Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Dollar stores are everywhere these days—they’re being built at a record pace, according to industry reports. In some rural communities in this state, you might not see any store except a dollar store. A campaign is calling on these discount chains to make sure products are nontoxic.

BRRT via Pixabay / public domain

KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project has been reporting on a plume of toxic chemicals in Albuquerque’s groundwater for over six months.

We obtained public documents from the New Mexico Environment Department that show the groundwater plume has been spreading underneath a mile-and-a-half-long swath of Albuquerque’s Sawmill and Wells Park neighborhoods. Our investigation shows the contamination has the potential to reach people on the surface and could pose a serious health risk to people living and working in the area.

Ed Williams

Mountain View, a neighborhood in the Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque, is one of the most environmentally burdened communities in New Mexico. There are dozens of industrial facilities, and hardly any places for kids to play outside. With heavy traffic and no sidewalks, just walking home can be dangerous.

But some of that is changing, with the help of a new wildlife refuge.  

Ed Williams

Editor's Note: A spokeswoman for the New Mexico Environment Department emailed with concerns about this story. We reviewed them and found no inaccuracies. We stand by our reporting. You can find a link to her email and read our response here.

Decades ago, a chemical business called Laun-Dry Supply Company leaked poisonous dry cleaning solvents into Albuquerque’s groundwater.

In the years since, nobody has investigated possible health impacts to people living near the contamination.

But that changed this week. On Wednesday, the New Mexico Environment Department started the process of testing houses for chemicals from the Laun-Dry spill.

Creative Commons, Wiki

This week on The Children's Hour, we'll talk about dashing with dogs and making art from trash.  Our friends from Animal Humane New Mexico will visit with their human companions, and the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival will tell us about trashion fashion.  With a family events calendar, the KUNM Kids Birthday Club and great music, we hope you'll join us, Oct 24, 9-10am.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

UPDATE 8/25 at 12:30 p.m.: President Russell Begaye is awaiting soil and sediment samples from the Navajo Nation's Environmental Protection Agency before deciding whether to remove restrictions on irrigation from the San Juan River, according to spokesperson Mihio Manus. Begaye, a farmer himself who's relied on the river, met with farmers in Shiprock on Thursday, Aug. 20. 

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Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Gold King Mine spill caused the shut down of San Juan River irrigation to farms on the Navajo Nation. Emergency stopgap measures aren’t quite panning out. 

Rita Daniels

New Mexico lifted water restrictions on the Animas and San Juan Rivers over the weekend in the wake of a toxic mine spill in Colorado.

Water samples showed spikes in heavy metals, but state and federal officials say contaminants have been diluted and dispersed downstream.

That brought relief to farmers in San Juan County who are not on the Navajo Nation. They were given the go-ahead on Saturday to irrigate and use the water for watering livestock after the San Juan and Animas Rivers had been closed for more than a week.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Update Aug. 18, 11:30 a.m.: The EPA said the water for the Navajo Nation came from nearby Bloomfield and met state and federal quality standards. The trucks came from a division of an Aztec, N.M.-based company, Triple S Trucking, that moves non-potable water. The company also hauls fluids to and from oil fields. KUNM awaits comment from Triple S. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

SHIPROCK, N.M.—Not everyone on the Navajo Nation had heard about the Gold King Mine spill that happened more than a week ago, even though they might live along the San Juan River.

Rita Daniels / KUNM

The Navajo Nation Council met on Monday, Aug. 10, to talk about impacts from the more than 3-million-gallon toxic spill into the Animas River. "This is an assault on our way of life," said Delegate Amber Crotty. "This is an assault on core of who we are as Diné people."

Young Diné Activists March Toward Sacred Mountain

Jul 30, 2015
Rita Daniels

SHIPROCK, N.M.—Navajo youth are walking hundreds of miles across their reservation for what they call a Journey for Existence. They will be summiting one of their sacred mountains near Cortez, Colorado, this weekend to offer prayers for the planet.

Religious Leaders Call For Action On Climate Change

Jul 28, 2015
Rita Daniels

Faith leaders in New Mexico are asking citizens to take personal responsibility for tackling climate change.

Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders stood together beneath the broiling sun Tuesday morning, pledging their support for a new Papal Encyclical, which encourages people to curb their consumption of energy.

Sister Joan Brown is with the religious nonprofit New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.

Geologue via Flickr

An environmental law firm in Santa Fe is petitioning the state Supreme Court to overturn a law that allows copper mines to pollute groundwater. 

As the law stands, companies can allow toxic drainage to seep into the groundwater beneath their copper mines, as long as the pollution stays within a designated perimeter. But New Mexico Environmental Law Center director Douglas Meiklejohn says that’s a violation of the state’s Water Quality Act.

Images Money via CC

New Mexico legislative leaders say talks are underway to try to forge a compromise on a funding bill for building work and other projects across the state.

The regular session ended without agreement on a capital outlay bill amid partisan finger-pointing, but the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that leaders of the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-controlled House hope to reach an agreement.

A Compromise Plan For N.M. Dairies

Apr 7, 2015
flikr2570 via Compfight CC

For years, dairymen, the state and environmental watchdogs have been trying to reach an agreement about how to deal with the waste that comes from hundreds of thousands of cows in New Mexico. The Water Quality Control Commission held a hearing Monday afternoon to consider proposed amendments to the Dairy Rule. But that’s not what they ended up talking about.

The public comment period ends Saturday, April 4, about an asphalt plant that could go in near a wildlife reserve in the South Valley. Albuquerque Asphalt applied for a permit to build at hot-mix asphalt plant, and neighbors are concerned that the site for the plant is too close to the Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge. It’s a little more than half a mile away.

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