HB 161 would have prohibited local governments from creating and enforcing ordinances affecting agricultural or vegetable seeds (state preemption). This would have removed local control of agricultural products and interfered with culturally significant agricultural practices.
SB 452 would have prevented the use of eminent domain for projects that would create an economic opportunity for the party receiving the condemned land. This bill was in response to the Kelo v. City of New London case, but was drafted too broadly and may have prevented use of eminent domain by Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) to facilitate construction of renewable energy transmission lines.
These bills would have allowed renters, low-income utility customers and persons without suitable locations for solar generation on their premises to participate in local solar generation facilities by allowing individuals to buy a portion of a community solar installation or “solar garden”. This would have stimulated the adoption of solar energy generation by more New Mexicans by making it more accessible to more New Mexicans and reducing our dependence on coal and nuclear fueled energy.
These memorials authorize the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance to construct a consolidated interim storage facility for the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods from commercial (for-profit) nuclear power generation plants.
This bill adds lead and lead-based products (such as lead-acid batteries) to the products regulated by the Recycled Metals Act. It helps to ensure that lead is disposed of in a way that minimizes its environmental impact.
SB 467 would have depoliticized water planning and management in New Mexico by limiting the number of appointments from the Governor’s office to the Interstate Stream Commission to four members and by requiring that no single political party have more than four members. Additionally, the bill required professional qualifications of appointees in water resources fields and representation by a variety of water users across the state. Vote scored is the final passage on the Senate floor.
SB 677 afforded landowners or other affected parties a private right of action to pursue enforcement of environmental laws against violators or agencies who are failing to enforce existing law. An example might be the case of a rural landowner whose groundwater is at risk of contamination by a polluting company: if the state refuses to require the company to stop polluting groundwater, the landowner would have recourse in court. Vote scored is the Tabling motion in the Senate Conservation Committee. SB 677 is a priority bill and is double weighted in the calculation of a legislator’s score.
HB 564 would have weakened a citizen’s right to legally respond when they have been impacted by the effects of pollution caused by agricultural operations. Votes scored are the final passage on the House floor and the Do Pass with No Recommendation motion in the Senate Conservation Committee.
Pollution, like legacy waste sites from uranium mining, not only endangers natural resources but also poses severe risks to public health. However, there is currently no process in place to study the impacts that environmental degradation has on the quality of health over time. HB 494 and SB 610 began to address this by creating a community health study fund, paid for by fines assessed to companies directly responsible for contamination. Votes scored are the Tabling motion on HB 494 in the House Health Committee and the Do Pass on SB 610 in the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
Contamination from uranium mining and milling threatens scarce water resources and poses severe risks to public health. However, comprehensive data on contamination levels, and the specific health impacts of past uranium mining, are seriously lacking. HB 343 would have established a fund to conduct a baseline community health study, and make recommendations for ways to mitigate the public health impacts of uranium mining.