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Calling all Water Protectors

Updated: Jul 5, 2023



Tomorrow at 9:00AM the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear HB142 - the Generating Facility and Mine Remediation Act. To protect the San Juan River watershed, to protect the frontline communities who have borne the brunt of air, water and land pollution from the San Juan Generating Station and the San Juan mine for 50 years we are reaching out to ask as many people as possible to show up in person at the Roundhouse in Room 317 at 9:00AM tomorrow morning to show your support for this important bill.

Even if you can't make it to the Roundhouse your voice still matters!

Whether in person or on zoom you can come prepared to make public comment or you can simply raise your hand to show legislators that the people of New Mexico want an independent assessment and strict oversight of the San Juan Generating Station plant and the San Juan Mine cleanup to ensure that generations of San Juan County residents, farmers, and wild creatures are protected from the dangers of toxic coal ash residuals. Everyone downstream of the plant will be impacted by foreseeable contamination of the San Juan River by PNM’s legacy coal ash contamination. This is preventable. We need to stand up and make sure this intergenerational injustice doesn’t not occur. All we need to do is invest a little bit now for an independent comprehensive assessment and methodical monitoring and oversight of cleanup.

If you cannot be present at the hearing (or even if you can!) please click the button below to send your comments to all the committee members who will hear this bill.

TALKING POINTS AND RESOURCES TO PREPARE COMMENTS

  • The San Juan plant and mine are contaminated with open wastewater pits and at least 59,000,000 tons of Coal Combustion Residuals, aka coal ash, stored in unlined pits, making the likelihood of leaching from these waste contaminants foreseeable.

  • Coal ash is incredibly dangerous. Short-term exposure can bring irritation of the nose and throat, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure can lead to liver damage, kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmia, and a variety of cancers.

  • Industry data from more than 548 disposal units at 292 power plants and offsite disposal areas found that 91% of coal plants are contaminating the groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic contaminants from coal ash in ponds and landfills. Contamination may go undetected in nearby private wells for years, because most coal ash pollutants have no telltale taste or color.

  • In light of the history of toxic substances leaching from coal ash improperly disposed by PNM at the San Juan plant and mine, an independent assessment, transparency and oversight are critical to ensure that timely actions are taken to protect the watershed, and the communities that rely on it, in perpetuity.

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