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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser, (202) 753-7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

Background: Last year, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) drafted rules to reduce pollution from oil and gas operations. The rules contained exceptions for tens of thousands of low-producing wells and sites presumed to emit below a certain level–even though they could potentially be large sources of pollution. Today, NMED released a revised draft rule to the Environmental Improvement Board, paving the way for public comment and a formal rulemaking in the coming months.

Statement of Nathalie Eddy, NM Field Advocate and Field Manager for Earthworks:

“Advocates and frontline communities told NMED loudly and clearly that the loopholes in the earlier proposal would hurt health and climate. We appreciate that NMED recognizes that the new draft rule must promise a much greater level of protection.

“Swift and bold action on a strong final rule is necessary to rein in dangerous oil and gas pollution that puts community health and our climate at risk. For too long, oil and gas operators have been allowed to pollute day in and day out. NM frontline communities see, smell and feel the impacts on a daily basis.”


For more information: 

Earthworks comments on NMED’s first draft rule

* Earthworks’ Report: New Mexico Loud and Clear: What public regulatory complaints reveal about New Mexico’s oversight of oil and gas pollution and whom it serves* NM flyover methane info site

* Earthworks’ optical gas images (OGI) of oil and gas methane pollution

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