Modrall Sperling Law Firm

New Mexico’s Public Lands Commissioner Announces Intention to End Easements to State Lands for Pumping Fresh Groundwater

Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard on December 15, 2020 informed companies holding easements granting access for pumping fresh water from state trust lands managed by the New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) that SLO will not be renewing their easements, nor…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico’s Conditional Certification of EPA’s Proposed Reissuance of the Multi Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity Raises Significant Concerns

Background In mid-2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to reissue the Multi Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity (Permit NMR050000) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).  Section 401…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission Adopts Rule Changes Concerning Produced Water

On September 3, 2020, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission adopted rules changes concerning produced water. See OCC Order No. R-21343-A (Sept. 3, 2020). Under the Produced Water Act, signed into law in 2019, the Commission and the Oil Conservation Division of…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico Environment Department’s Surface Water Quality Bureau Begins Triennial Review Process

On November 2, 2020, the New Mexico Environment Department’s (“NMED”) Surface Water Quality Bureau (“SWQB”) issued its notice inviting public comment on NMED’s proposed amendments to the State’s standards for interstate and intrastate surface water quality, codified under 20.6.4 NMAC. NMED issued…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico’s 2020 Statewide Water Quality Management Plan and Continuing Planning Process Approved by EPA

On October 23, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved New Mexico’s 2020 Statewide Water Quality Management Plan and Continuing Planning Process (WQMP/CPP). Broadly speaking, the WQMP/CPP outlines the processes by which New Mexico manages its water quality programs, including…

POSTED IN: Alerts, Uncategorized

U.S. Supreme Court Establishes Middle Ground on Clean Water Act Regulation of Point Source Pollutant Discharge and Travel Via Groundwater

In County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund,[1] the United States Supreme Court provided its latest decision on the regulatory reach of the federal government to control discharge of pollutants into navigable waters under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Justice Breyer, writing…

POSTED IN: Articles

The Corps’ NWP 12 for Pipelines and Transmission Lines is Vacated and Enjoined

The United States District Court for the District of Montana, Great Falls Division, issued an order on April 15, 2020 in the ongoing litigation regarding permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline that has far-reaching implications for pipeline, electric utility line, and other…

POSTED IN: Articles

Water Quality Control Commission Unanimously Approves Mine’s Proposed Regulatory Amendments to Surface Water Standards

On October 8, 2019, following a public hearing, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) unanimously approved Peabody Natural Resources Company’s (Peabody) proposed amendments to the WQCC’s regulations governing standards for interstate and intrastate surface waters codified at N.M. Code R….

POSTED IN: Articles

Water Quality Control Commission Unanimously Upholds Proposed Mine’s Groundwater Discharge Permit Issued Under the Copper Rule

On August 13–14, 2019, in what many view as bellwether cases, the New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) decided two administrative appeal challenges to the first-ever groundwater discharge permit (DP) issued by NMED to a proposed new copper…

POSTED IN: Articles

New Mexico Produced Water Act

The New Mexico Legislature passed by an overwhelming majority, and Governor Lujan Grisham signed, the Produced Water Act, a bipartisan effort to encourage and facilitate the recycling and reuse of produced water by oil and gas producers and the conservation of fresh…

POSTED IN: Articles