Unified Action – June 2007 – Rule Against a Landfill in Chaparral

Ask Secretary Ron Curry to Rule Against a Landfill in Chaparral

Sponsored by Vecinos Unidos de Chaparral and Colonias Development Council (CDC)

Contact person: Cruz Hernandez, albertico60@yahoo.com.mx

When you have completed this action, remember to send “I did it!” to Bri Hines, brshines@hotmail.com

The Issue

High Desert Solid Waste Facility (a subsidiary of Waste Connections, Inc.) has been in the process of applying to open and operate a new landfill in Chaparral. The community of Chaparral has been fighting for about two years against this landfill because of the adverse social, economic, and cultural impact that this will have on the community. In February of 2002 CDC decided to go to court against the landfill permit. In 2005 the New Mexico Supreme Court decided that the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) would have to agree on a limited public hearing that would address social impact issues of such a landfill. This hearing will take place on July 19. The community of Sunland Park has also been fighting in and out of court against the expansion of their landfill. Their court case is still open.

What we are asking

Please write or call the Secretary of the NMED, Ron Curry, urging him to deny the permit for the Chaparral landfill.

To email Secretary Curry— ron.curry@state.nm.us
To call Secretary Curry—(505) 827-2855

Please remind him that New Mexico generates more trash per capita than the US average, while its diversion rate is much below national average (NM Solid Waste Management Plan 2007, p. 5 of document or p. 15 of pdf)

Please remind him that Doña Ana and Otero County Boards of County Commissioners have each unanimously passed resolutions opposing the operation of this landfill

Please remind him of Governor Richardson’s Executive Order of November 2005 on environmental justice, which specifically charges state agencies such as the NMED to address the causes and factors that affect health and environmental quality of life in communities like Chaparral

Upon completion of this unified action, please e-mail “I did it” to brshines@hotmail.com.

Why your action is important

NMED will have to justify it in writing if it grants a permit to the landfill in Chaparral and must take public input into consideration. If there is massive public opposition, such a justification will be much more difficult. Your letters and emails, and your arguments about the social impacts of a landfill on an already poor and burdened community will help Chaparral achieve its objective.

Further Information

This landfill will not only affect the air and water quality of Chaparral but also will increase noise from traffic, depress land and housing values, and affect how people perceive themselves.

Chaparral is a vulnerable community in that it already has several contaminating sites identified by the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), which is a department of the EPA. Such sites include several landfills of different types, a medical waste incinerator, a tire disposal with unburied tires (when tires are filled with water they become a perfect place for mosquito breeding and related viruses such as West Nile), a water reclamation plant, etc.

Links

Colonias Development Council (CDC)
The CDC is a council of grassroots community organizations in 10 colonia communities: Salem, El Milagro, Rodey, Rincón, Mesquite, Las Palmeras, Montana Vista, Chaparral, Sunland Park, and Columbus.  The Colonias Development Council uses to help colonia residents find solutions to issues in their communities.

Colonias in Doña Ana County
Facts and figures about the colonias in our county on the county Web site.

Waste Connections, Inc.
This is the corporation that proposes to operate the Chaparral landfill. Site includes a map of their dozens of landfill locations around the country.

Understanding The Border
This website focuses on New Mexico’s border environmental issues and the relevant strategies of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to bring these issues to light.

New Mexico Environmental Department, Environmental Justice Section
Official positions on environmental justice.


ACCIÓN UNIDA CONTRA EL BASURERO EN CHAPARRAL

Patrocinadores: VECINOS UNIDOS de Chaparral, Colonias Development Council (CDC)

El problema

High Desert Solid Waste Facility (una subsidiaria de Waste Connections, Inc.) ha estado en el proceso de aplicar para abrir y operar un nuevo basurero en Chaparral. La comunidad de Chaparral ha estado luchando contra este basurero hace dos años, debido al impacto social, económico y cultural adverso que éste tendrá en la comunidad. En febrero de CDC 2002 decidió entrar en corte contra el permiso del basurero. En 2005 el Tribunal Supremo del NM decidió que el Departamento del Medio ambiente de New Mexico (NMED) tendría que convenir en una audiencia pública limitada con la comunidad de Chaparral que trataría de los problemas sociales del impacto del basurero. Esta audiencia ocurrirá el 19 de julio. La comunidad de Sunland Park también ha estado luchando dentro y fuera de corte contra la extensión de su basurero – su proceso legal todavía está abierto.

Qué estamos pidiendo

Escriba o llame por favor al secretario del NMED, Ron Curry, urgiéndole negar el permiso para el basurero de Chaparral, y también rechazar una extensión del basurero de Sunland Park

Recuérdele por favor que New Mexico genera más basura por capita que el promedio de los E.E.U.U., mientras que su tarifa de la diversión es debajo de promedio nacional (NM Solid Waste Management Plan 2007, p. 5)

Recuérdele por favor que las comisiones del condado de Doña Ana y Otero hicieron resoluciones unánimemente pasadas que oponen la operación de este basurero

Recuérdele por favor de la orden ejecutiva de noviembre de 2005 del gobernador Richardson, que carga específicamente a las agencias del estado, tales como el NMED, que traten de las causas y los factores que afectan salud y la calidad de la vida ambiental en comunidades como Chaparral

Llame o envie un email

Sr. Ron Curry Secretary
NM Environment Department
(505) 827-2855 ron.curry@state.nm.us

Porqué su acción es importante

NMED tendrá que justificar por escrito si concede un permiso y tiene que tomar en cuenta la opinión pública. Si hay oposición masiva del público al basurero en Chaparral, una justificación sera más dificil. Sus palabras y sus correos electrónicos, sus argumentos sobre los impactos sociales de un basurero en una comunidad ya pobre y explotada, ayudará la comunidade de Chaparral de completar su objectivo.

Información adicional

Este basurero afectará no solamente la calidad del aire y del agua de Chaparral pero también aumentará ruido de tráfico, depreciará el valor de la tierra y  la vivienda y afectará cómo la gente se percibe a sí misma.

Chaparral es una comunidad vulnerable y hay varios sitios de contaminación identificados por el Consejo Consultivo de la Justicia Ambiental Nacional (NEJAC), que es un departamento del EPA

Tales sitios incluyen varios basureros de diversos tipos, un incinerador de basura médica, un depósito de neumáticos, con neumáticos no enterrados (cuando los neumáticos se llenan de agua, se convierten en un lugar perfecto para mosquitos, y crían virus, tales como el Virus del Nilo Occidental), una planta de la recuperación del agua, etc.

Al realizar esta acción por favor envíe “lo hice” a Bri Hines a: brshines@hotmail.com

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