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Groups Want Gasoline Plant’s Permit Yanked

Rashad Mahmood
Air permits issued by the City of Albuerque in the San Jose and Mountain View neighborhoods

A neighborhood association and an environmental justice group say a gasoline distribution plant is polluting the air in a low-income area of Albuquerque. The city will hold a hearing on the plant Wednesday.

Honstein Oil Company’s plant in the San Jose neighborhood got an air permit from the city years ago, but some people in the neighborhood want that permit revoked.  They say pollution from the plant is making people sick.

"People in our community have asthma, children in our community have asthma, and it’s all related, because of what we’re breathing in," said Esther Abeyta of the San Jose Neighborhood Association. She filed the permit appeal along with the Southwest Organizing Project and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. The U.S. EPA is investigatingthe city’s air permitting policies in San Jose, and Abeyta says the neighborhood group has been trying to get a hearing on this permit for years.

Albuquerque air quality officials have said in the past that there is no evidence of health impacts from the many polluting businesses in the San Jose neighborhood.

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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