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Bernalillo County Commission today passed a resolution opposing NMED's proposed produced water reuse rule




Today the Bernalillo County Commission voted 4-1 to pass a Resolution Opposing the New Mexico Environment Departments Water Reuse Rule Pending Before the Water Quality Control Commission Because the Pending Rule is Premature, Lacks Scientific Measures to Protect Public Health and Risks Contamination of Bernalillo Land and Water with Toxic Oil Field Waste


Santa Fe, NM - April 23rd, 2024 - Today the Bernalillo County Commission voted 4-1 to pass a resolution opposing the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED)’s Water Reuse rule (WQCC 23 - 84) pending before the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC). The Commission’s Resolution (attached) calls on the WQCC to reject the proposed rule because: 


  • The Pending Rule is premature, authorizing applications for the reuse of produced water in “demonstration projects or industrial projects” outside the oil field without prior scientific or toxicity assessments in place to protect public health;

  • There are no scientific standards in this proposed rule and the proposed rule defines “reuse water” pursuant to 20.6.8.7(R)(4) as wastewater that has undergone: “a level of treatment appropriate for an application such as agriculture, irrigation, potable water supplies, aquifer recharge, industrial processes, or environmental restoration,” but fails to define what is “appropriate” or who decides what is “appropriate,” thus potentially allowing industry to define the regulatory standards itself; and

  • The Pending Rule risks contamination of Bernalillo County land and water and could have major environmental and human health impacts. Arsenic, one of the metals a known human carcinogen has been detected in the fracked wastewater; elevated boron and sodium, hydrocarbons and radionuclides have also been detected. These fluids and toxins can contaminate ground and surface water, kill vegetation, and cause public safety and health problems; 


The public spoke out resoundingly in support of the resolution, with only one NMOGA spokesperson opposing.

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