As the New Mexico legislature meets, a new report from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) shows how a lack of positive environmental policy leadership from the Martinez and Trump Administrations is fueling a growing threat to the health of New Mexico’s children and families. It offers policy suggestions for New Mexicans and their leaders this winter and in the coming year.
The report, Enchantment at Risk, details how New Mexicans are being negatively impacted by air that has been fouled by industrial pollution and challenged by climate change, Superfund-level pollution and other dangerous substances fouling the state’s land and multiple threats to clean drinking water.
The challenge has been compounded by a retreat by state and federal political leaders. Governor Martinez cut New Mexico’s Department of Environment budget more than 20 percent shortly after taking office, and has kept it flat since.
In Washington, DC, the Trump Administration has been advocating draconian EPA budget cuts, hiring polluters who will protect their industries, rolling back environmental safeguards and putting politics over science.
“New Mexico can’t count on the kind of federal support it’s had in the past to protect its environment,” said Jon Goldstein, Director of Regulatory & Legislative Affairs at EDF. “If Washington is stepping back, then New Mexico’s leaders need to step up.”
The report highlights several steps to begin turning New Mexico’s environmental policy around, including fully funding the Environment Department, holding violators accountable, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, updating rules governing methane, and fighting for a functioning EPA in Washington, DC to be a full partner with New Mexico.
In December, Environmental Defense Fund released a report, State of Risk: New Mexico, focusing on how proposed cuts to the EPA could harm New Mexico
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