“Produced” Water Hearings Statewide
- SANTA FE: Wednesday, Oct 30, 6pm-8:30pm, St. Francis Auditorium, 107 West Palace Ave., Santa Fe
- CARLSBAD: Thursday, Nov. 14, 6pm-8:30pm, Pecos River Village Conference Center, Carousel House 711 Muscatel Ave., Carlsbad
- FARMINGTON: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6pm-8:30pm, San Juan College Little Theatre, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington
- LAS CRUCES: Monday, November 25, 6pm-8:30pm, New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Ventana Room, 4100 Dripping Springs Rd. Las Cruces
The agenda for each meeting is as follows:
- 5:00 pm Doors open
- 6-6:45 pm Presentation by NMED, EMNRD and OSE
- 6:45-7:15 pm Question-and-answer session
- 7:15-7:30 pm Break
- 7:30-8:30 pm Public input session
A Spanish interpreter will be available at the meetings. Persons who need non-Spanish language services (e.g., assistance from an interpreter) or persons with disabilities who need services to participate in this public process should contact Michaelene Kyrala, (505) 827-2855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. TDD or TTY users please access the number via the New Mexico Relay Network, 1-800-659- 1779 (voice); TTY users: 1-800-659-8331.
Below is more background info, repeated from our Oct. 11 Alert:
There are 536 different fracking chemicals that can be found in produced water in our state— from hydrochloric acid to ethylene glycol (antifreeze). Oil industry trade-secret chemicals are not disclosed, which means produced water may contain numerous unknown harmful chemicals. New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) wants to use produced water to grow greens for your next salad and to irrigate grazing land so you can pour milk from those cows on your kids’ cereal.
What You Can Do
- Email the New Mexico Environment Department to express your concerns about the use of produced water anywhere besides to reuse in future fracking (contact info, background, and speaking points below).
- Attend one of the hearings.
- Share this on social media with an urgent plea for your FB and Twitter friends to raise their voices.
- Call and email friends and urge them to send comments to the email below. They do not have to spend hours on this–3-4 sentences will suffice, and the speaking points below provide guidance.
- If you know anyone with a professional background in water, agriculture, dairy, biology, or other fields related to this issue, reach out to them and ask that they provide their professional commentary. This is important.
The Public Input Process
People interested in providing input during the Public Input Sessions must sign up at the hearing entrance. Speaking is limited to two minutes per person and is first-come, first-served, based on the sign-up sheets. Additional opportunities to provide input include: 1) submit written input at the public meeting (forms will be provided), and 2) send email to email@example.com.
We need everyone to flood NMED with email comments and to absolutely jam the hearing rooms. After NMED concludes all five scheduled public meetings, it will develop a summary of the input received up to that point and share that summary with the public on NMED’s Produced Water website (https://www.env.nm.gov/new-
Technical feedback from the public will help inform NMED’s coordination with New Mexico State University about research priorities needed to fill science and technology gaps through the Produced Water Research Consortium.
Retake has learned that NMOGA will be pressing for lax regulation and regulation that will allow use of produced water in agriculture and irrigation. The potential to destroy NM agriculture and dairy industries is entirely possible.
- Oil and gas wastewater has no place in our food system. New Mexico’s wastewater reuse regulations must prohibit the use of drilling wastewater on cropland and pasture, as well as livestock watering and aquifer recharging.
- Wastewater may include hazardous chemicals used in drilling, including known/suspected carcinogens, and chemicals that harm developmental and reproductive health.
- Wastewater also contains naturally-occurring substances like heavy metals and radioactive materials that are linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and damage to the respiratory and immune systems.
- New Mexico cannot regulate what it does not know. Through trade secret loopholes, companies can hide the names of chemicals used in drilling fluids, making it impossible for regulators to address all potential hazards.
- Treating wastewater for agricultural reuse may generate more toxic waste. The state suggests injecting effluent (liquid byproduct of treatment) into underground storage wells, and sending sludge to solid waste facilities – hardly a model of “recycling.”
Public resources should not be exploited to help an industry deal with its enormous wastewater problem. Instead, New Mexico should invest in a swift transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources, including tapping into its enormous potential for solar power.
Roxanne and Paul
Retake Our Democracy