GMCR Special Coverage

NM Environment Department / Copper Regulations

today27 September 2012

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Greetings to all of you and welcome to GMCR’s exclusive coverage of this “watershed” event.  We apologize for a couple of glitches as we implement this new long format program.

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) held a public meeting on Wednesday September 26, 2012 on the proposed new rules to protect water quality at copper mine facilities.   After a half hour presentation on the proposed rule given by Bill Olson, contractor for NMED, Felicia Orth, hearing officer for the department, conducted a public comment session on the rule.

Twenty-eight people made comments on the draft rule.

In 2009 the legislature amended the Water Quality Act to require that the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) adopt specific rules for the copper mining industry. The rules must specify the measures to be taken to prevent water pollution and to monitor water quality. The purpose of the rules was intended to provide the copper mining industry with clearly defined requirements for preventing ground water and surface water pollution and ensuring regulatory compliance rather than determining all such requirements on a case-by-case basis. Since January of 2012, the NMED conducted extensive technical and advisory group meetings with industry, government agencies and public interest groups to seek input in the development and the content of proposed copper mine rules.

Public comments on the rule will be accepted until October 12

  • and can be submitted to NMED via email at
  • or to the following address:
    New Mexico Environment Department Ground Water Quality Bureau
    Attn: Kurt Vollbrecht
    PO Box 5469
    Santa Fe, NM 87502-546

The program is scheduled to run Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8am through Friday Oct 12 – the last day to submit comments. Or you can click below to listen anytime to
NM Env Dept / Copper Regulations

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