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  • Defend NM Water

Your participation is making a difference - commissioners keep pointing to public concerns as they question experts.

Last week several parties filed a motion to vacate and reschedule the fracking waste rule hearing to allow time for the Commission to cure their failure to file financial disclosure documents as required by New Mexico law. Without those required disclosures any decision by the Commission will be vulnerable to an appeal. But on Monday the Commission decided to go forward with the hearing regardless, substituting their legal requirement for financial disclosure with a Conflict of Interest statement. One Commissioner did recuse, but questions of transparency remain, with one reporter finding that Commissioners received recent raises and another is an executive at an oil and gas company.

In the meantime, the public has been showing up at twice daily comment sessions to let the Commission know that they carry a heavy responsibility to protect our land, water and health, and that any reuse rule must be based on science, and the Commissioners have been listening. Public opposition has been noted by multiple Commissioners in their questioning. NMOGA got wind and brought in a parade of people to speak yesterday.

Commissioner Brancard has pointed out that the Produced Water Act requires that "For uses regulated by the water quality control commission pursuant to the Water Quality Act, a person shall obtain a permit from the department of environment before using the produced water, the recycled or treated water or treated product or any byproduct of the produced water." The proposed rule does not require permits for demonstration projects or industrial projects, only a Notice of Intent which does not carry with it any standards or enforcement authority.

NMED testified about their lack of capacity to conduct or even to properly oversee scientifically rigorous pilot projects, and their reliance on the Produced Water Research Consortium to obtain data. It was noted that the data that has thus far been produced has been "underwhelming." They also conceded that "Spills Happen," and that they will have no authority to deny any project under this rule even if a company has illegally spilled produced water before.

Your participation and action is so important to this process! There are still three public comment sessions left at 1:00PM today and at 9:00AM or 1:00AM tomorrow. You can participate online at



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