The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

ECO-BEAT

Sand and gravel quarry’s use changing to produce masonary sand, application in

Bill Diven

Sun Country Redi-Mix of Bernalillo plans to produce masonry sand for plaster and mortar at a pit in Bernalillo, according to a recently published legal notice.

The operation at the Bernalillo pit is east of I-25 and south of NM 165 near Placitas in an existing twenty-acre site formerly used to quarry sand and gravel. The application was expected to be filed with the state Air Quality Bureau by the end of July, according to Sun Country general manager David Martinez.

State regulations allow the bureau ninety days to rule an application complete; then a public comment period and technical review follow. Public interest in the application may extend the comment period and trigger a public hearing.

The company’s notice said it could run the pit up to twelve hours a day seven days a week and annually emit seventeen tons of particulates, thirteen tons of sulfur dioxide, and lesser amounts of nitrogen oxide. However, Martinez said, the small, locally owned company listed those maximums for technical reasons and would not operate seven days a week.

The operation will use three cylinders powered by a 17.5-horsepower motor to screen the sand to a fine powder, he added.

 

NM Interstate Steam Commission holding public forums for state water planning

In an effort to allow public input on how New Mexico balances future water needs with limited supplies, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission launched a series of public meetings starting in July. Governor Bill Richardson's office directed the ISC to have a comprehensive state water plan in place by the end of 2003.

"I'm committed to developing a comprehensive state water plan in order to end the fighting among ourselves and plan for the future," said Richardson. "New Mexico has been in a drought for the past four years, and conditions may continue for several years to come. We must, as a state, work together to prepare for that. This is an opportunity for interested citizens to take an active role in discussions of water issues affecting our state and to help be a part of the problem-solving process."

"It is important to balance the needs of all water users in the state. It is equally important that communities, businesses, and interested citizens have input in this process," said ISC director Estevan Lopez." We are on a very aggressive timeline to gather input for the comprehensive state water plan. Meetings have started and will continue through September, culminating in a town hall meeting in late September to synthesize the input gleaned from every region and produce a workable long-term plan for water use in our state."

Public meetings are being held in twenty-nine communities in every corner of the state. The forums will include discussions of water banking, drought contingency measures, strategies for water conservation, watershed restoration, water fights, shortage sharing, and other issues.

The nine-member ISC is responsible for apportioning water among New Mexico and neighboring states on streams that cross state borders. The commission was also given water-planning responsibility for the state.

The Office of the State Engineer and the ISC are separate but companion agencies charged with administering the state's water resources. The agencies have power over the supervision, measurement, appropriation, and distribution of almost all surface- and groundwater in New Mexico. The state engineer oversees the staff of both agencies.

For information on the August 25 public meeting for the Albuquerque area, contact Karin Stangl at (505) 827-6139.

 

New office will combat light pollution

Light pollution in New Mexico will soon have a full-time adversary. The New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director, Julianne Fletcher, recently announced the creation of the Night Sky Office.

Sheila Sullivan will serve as director and plans to take the lead in developing and advancing programs that work toward eliminating light pollution. Light pollution is unnecessary glare from electric fixtures that dims people’s view of the stars.

“The Night Sky Office will initiate action on issues concerning light pollution and New Mexico’s night sky, and will establish educational, legislative, informational, and outreach efforts to reverse light pollution in our state, and will promote pristine night skies,” said Sullivan.

Additionally, the office will act as a clearinghouse for counties, municipalities, home-owners’ associations, and other jurisdictional entities that have existing light regulations or ordinances or are looking for resources to develop such regulations. A section dedicated to the Night Sky Office will soon be added to the NMHPA Web site at www.nmheritage.org.

Jerry Rogers, president of the Heritage Preservation Alliance, said, “Without conscious action, future generations will not experience the night sky as we and our ancestors have since time immemorial.”

For further information, contact the Night Sky Office at 1-466-0085.

 

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