Congress Clears Way For New Mexico Land Measures – The Associated Press
A new swath of wilderness would be designated in northern New Mexico and management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve would be transferred to the National Park Service under a defense bill that has cleared Congress.
The U.S. Senate voted in favor of the legislation Friday. The House passed the bill earlier this month. It now goes to President Barack Obama for approval.
A coalition of people who’ve had family members killed by the Albuquerque Police Department delivered a petition on Wednesday to New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney calling for 13 police officers to be indicted.
Activists said they were disheartened but hope their efforts are not in vain.
Albuquerque Police, DOJ Hold 'Frank' Meetings - The Associated Press
Albuquerque police and U.S. Justice Department officials have held a series of private but contentious briefings following a signed agreement on reforms.
Officials say officers and federal authorities gathered Tuesday for the last of five meetings on how reforms will be adopted. But some officers expressed anger on how the Justice Department investigated Albuquerque police and pressed federal officials on why they only focused on certain excessive force cases.
KUNM Call In Show 12/11 8a: The New Mexico Environment Department has fined the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory a total of $54 million related to two incidents at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository earlier this year. An underground fire and a release of radiation in February contaminated 22 workers and shuttered the facility.
What are the fines for? And what must WIPP and LANL do to come into compliance with hazardous waste permits? Are the fines enough?
Senators Welcome Fines For Nuke Repository Mishaps – The Associated Press
New Mexico's two U.S. senators are welcoming more than $54 million in penalties being levied against the U.S. Department of Energy for numerous violations that resulted in the indefinite closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.
The state Environment Department on Saturday announced it was imposing the penalties for 30 state-permit violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico and at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant stores nuclear weapons waste deep in underground salt caverns. There was an underground fire in February, followed by a release of radioactivity that contaminated 22 workers and shuttered the facility.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is considering a proposal to build a pipeline that would move oil to markets from northwestern New Mexico. The agency hosted a public meeting on the plan Thursday night in the town of Lybrook, south of Farmington.
Albuquerque Hires NAACP Leader On Police Reform – The Associated Press
The city of Albuquerque has hired a local NAACP leader to help with upcoming changes into the city's troubled police.
But some advocates are criticizing the move.
The city announced this week NAACP Albuquerque president Harold Bailey will be paid $20,000 as a consultant for a team that will oversee changes. Bailey says he will help the team with community engagement.
On Wednesday the Bernalillo County Planning Commission voted to recommend a development plan for almost 40,000 new homes and commercial spaces on Albuquerque’s West Mesa. The vote occurred despite some 75 people who spoke out in opposition citing concerns over the economic and environmental impacts.
New Mexico Senate Has Backlog Of Confirmations – The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
The Democratic-led New Mexico Senate will convene in January with a backlog of pending confirmation decisions on dozens of appointees of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez's office says the 85 first-term appointees awaiting confirmation votes include numerous members of state boards and commissions as well as three Cabinet secretaries.
Regulators Approve PNM Solar Plan - The Associated Press
PNM's plan to build four more solar-powered generating stations has been approved by state regulators.
The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the utility's renewable energy procurement plan for next year. The solar arrays will represent a more than $79 million-dollar investment.
The City of Albuquerque released an environmental monitoring report for a section of the bosque they hope to develop between Central Avenue and Montaño, but advocates are focused on protecting the wildness in the area.
The public has until November 30, 2014, to comment on the report that was supposed establish baseline data about the environmental health of the bosque that runs through the heart of Albuquerque and is important habitat for animals.
The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission approved a controversial proposal Monday to divert water from the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico.
The project will draw water from the river, store it in reservoirs, then pipe it over the Continental Divide, to the New Mexico town of Deming. It will take 20 years to build and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Silver City resident Dutch Salmon said he’s disappointed by the commission’s vote but he’s still hopeful the project isn’t set in stone.