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State To Strengthen Water Pollution Rules

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The Rio Grande

The New Mexico Environment Department is rewriting the state’s rules on water pollution. 

The state’s water quality rules regulate everything from groundwater pollution from abandoned wells to sewer discharge into rivers. But some of those rules are outdated.

The Environment Department kicked off a review process last week to study them, and see which ones need to be updated.

“It’s really conceptual right now, because we’re just opening up the gates with the public to join us as we contemplate the rules revision,” said Environment Department spokeswoman Allison Majure.

The groundwater bureau says it’s looking at strengthening the regulations on chlorinated solvents, like those in the dry cleaning chemical plume near downtown Albuquerque. Volatile organic compounds are under consideration too.

The Environment Department will be taking public comments on water quality in the coming months and could begin writing the new rules as early as  this fall.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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