ByLaura Paskus and Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
On Monday, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez that an alternative to dealing with haze-causing pollution at a New Mexico power plant should be worked out among stakeholders.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a letter sent to the governor that such an alternative would be in the environmental and economic best interests of the state.
Jackson signed a 90-day stay so the parties can evaluate alternatives for the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico.
All this week we're considering the Endangered Species Act in New Mexico. Today, KUNM’s Sidsel Overgaard brings you: The Case of the Disappearing Frogs...
The plight of the Chiricahua Leopard frog begins long ago, in a medical lab when researchers devise a way to use frogs as pregnancy tests. The African Clawed frogs used for this purpose were soon shipped all around the world, carrying with them a deadly fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd for short (at least, that's the current favorite theory).
So far in our series, we’ve looked at some of the difficulties in recovering a species. But one of the emerging strengths of the Endangered Species Act is in its ability to spark compromise before a species ever makes it onto the list. And in the case of the Lesser Prairie Chicken and Dunes Sagebrush lizard, just the threat of a listing has been enough to make for some unlikely allies in Southeastern New Mexico.
As part of our series on endangered species in New Mexico, Carrie and Sidsel took a field trip with WildEarth Guardians Executive Director, John Horning, to look for the elusive New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse (you really should listen to this one...it's a radio geek's dream, but not so translate-able to print...).
In a newly released ranking of city park systems, Albuquerque came in 11th, just below major metropolises like Seattle and Philadelphia. Meanwhile, environmental advocates in Rio Rancho say its time their city starting trying to catch up.
In terms of developed parkland-- that is, space including amenities like basketball courts and swing sets-- Rio Rancho isn’t doing that badly. The city boasts 3.5 acres of developed parkland per thousand residents, compared to Albuquerque's 5.5.
A new scorecard for park systems in the nation’s largest 40 cities places Albuquerque near the top of the heap.
The rating system, developed by the Trust for Public Land, considers three factors: total park acreage, public access to those parks and spending on parks. Albuquerque missed the top ten by just one. But TPL’s Greg Hiner says that score places it within a stone’s throw of cities like New York, Seattle and Philadelphia.
Public Service Company of New Mexico says it has received four bids to install EPA-mandated pollution controls at its San Juan Generating Station...all of them just as costly as the company had predicted.
According to the Albuquerque Journal:
PNM says the lowest bid is more than double the federal agency’s estimate of $345 million to equip the coal-fired plant with selective catalytic reduction, or SCR, technology to cut pollutants that cause regional haze.
A week-long hearing on New Mexico’s pit rule has drawn to a close…for now.
The pit rule, adopted in 2008, governs the disposal of waste from oil and gas drilling, and has been called one of the strictest regulations in the country.
This week the Oil Conservation Commission heard testimony from experts and the public about the oil and gas industry’s push to revise the regulations. But with time running out and several people yet to testify, the OCC decided to continue the hearing June 20-22.
On Sunday, Albuquerque residents and visitors will be treated to the rare sight of an annular solar eclipse. The eclipse starts at 6:28 PM and continues until the sun sets. KUNM’s Conservation Beat reporter Sidsel Overgaard spoke with Barry Spletzer with the Albuquerque Astronomical Society to learn more.
The economy took a serious hit with the last recession. And while it will take time to recover, New Mexico is faring much better than the rest of the United States. That’s according to a recent Headwaters Economics report. The independent research group says New Mexico is creating jobs faster and has higher per capita income than the U.S as a whole. Headwaters Policy Director Chris Mehl says public lands have been a significant factor in New Mexico's economic recovery.