KUNM

Mountain View

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.

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.

Ed Williams

When an industrial business like a concrete plant or a hazardous waste processor sets up shop in a residential neighborhood, arguments for economic growth and public health often clash.

Those tensions are especially high in the neighborhood of Mountain View, south of Albuquerque, where dozens of polluting businesses border neighborhoods, community centers and schools.

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.

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.