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New Mexico’s Pit Rule got a reprieve yesterday as State District Court Judge Barbara Vigil is considering sending industry’s appeal up to the State Court of Appeals. Due to substantial public interest in the Pit Rule (the importance of oil and gas to New Mexico’s economy, the Oil Conservation Commission considering extensive technical evidence and hundreds of hours of conservation, legal and industry time committed and expended in the process of developing the Pit Rule) sending the case to the higher court may be a logical next step because of the statewide importance of oil and gas. Judge Vigil will make a final ruling in mid-May after ruling on OGAP’s appeal of Governor Richardson’s rollbacks of the Pit Rule’s chloride standards. Richardson’s decision, made behind closed doors with industry nine months after the Pit Rule was adopted, allows wastes 13 times more toxic to be buried on well sites.

Earthworks’ OGAP is represented in the case by Eric Jantz with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center.

For more information on New Mexico’s Common Sense Drilling Protections: newmexicocommonsense.org

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