Sandoval Signpost

 

An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
 
 

Placitas Recycling Center
Open: Saturdays, 8–11 a.m.
To volunteer call Max at 877-7745, or email: prunedastudio@comcast.net.
Located on the north side of Highway 165, half mile east of I-25.
www.placitasrecycling.org


EPA reduces hazardous air pollutants in New Mexico

On September 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reduced hazardous air pollutants released into the environment by awarding $598,224 dollars to the New Mexico Department of Environmental Quality. The grant will promote and support sustainability and pollution prevention in the state.

Pollution prevention, or reducing pollution at the source, is an integral component to becoming more sustainable over time. Sustainability involves understanding and evaluating environmental performance and impacts, economic productivity, and individual and societal needs.

For more than forty years, the Clean Air Act has cut pollution as the U.S. economy has grown. It has also lowered levels of six common pollutants—particles, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide—as well as numerous toxic pollutants. The progress of the Act reflects efforts by state, local, and tribal governments; EPA; private sector companies; environmental groups and others. For more info on the progress of the Clean Air Act visit: www.epa.gov/air/caa/progress.html#pollution.


Free civil legal clinic offered

—Janet Blair

The Bernalillo County Volunteer Attorney Program and the Second Judicial District Pro Bono Committee will now be offering a free civil legal clinic the first Wednesday of every month in the third-floor conference room of the 2nd District Courthouse at the southwest corner of Lomas and 4th NW, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This clinic replaces the foreclosure clinic that had been offered at the same time and place.

“Our volunteer attorneys saw the need for foreclosure counseling was declining, thankfully, but we know there are a lot of folks out there who are facing legal difficulties and could use our help,” said attorney Allan Wainwright.

Clinic organizers say they will be providing free legal advice on a number of civil legal issues such as immigration and foreclosure, employee rights, landlord-tenant, public benefits, and probate. The clinic is designed for low-income individuals and families. Attendance is limited to the first 25 persons who qualify for low-income assistance.

Interpreters and bi-lingual attorneys will be on hand. Those who come to the clinic should bring all their paperwork with them. They can expect about a thirty-minute free legal consultation. For additional information, call Felipe Quintana at 797-6082.


Citizens march against global-warming in New Mexico

—Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club: Rio Grande Chp. Dir.

A billboard-sized banner saying, “New Mexicans Prefer Clean Energy, When will PNM Change?” hung from the PERA Building in Santa Fe, which houses the Public Regulation Commission, as hundreds of climate marchers approached as part of one of the largest efforts in the history of the environmental movement, a broad coalition of faith, civil rights, labor, and environmental organizations. Marches in Santa Fe and Albuquerque preceded a September 21 People’s Climate March in New York, in anticipation of the September 23 United Nations Climate Summit. New Mexico marchers were calling on PNM and the PRC to drastically increase the amount of renewables in replacing coal-fired power in the Four-Corners area and Governor Martinez to retract her opposition to new rules that would help reduce carbon released from just such plants.

“Climate change is an ethical and moral issue of immediate concern,” said Sister Joan Brown, executive director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light. “As world leaders gather in New York, we in New Mexico are looking for significant and courageous action to reverse the debilitating trends of climate change. We have a responsibility to care for creation, and to ensure that people in New Mexico, and around the world, have access to clean air, clean water, native fishing and hunting territories, and the basic natural resources that support their communities. These riches do not belong to corporations but to present and future generations that depend upon them for their very lives.”

The two events used multiple stops along the marches to address climate impacts and solutions and made specific calls for action. They drew attention to Gov. Martinez’s recent letter opposing EPA Clean Power guidelines and the pending decision by the Public Regulation Commission regarding local coal power plants.

While New Mexicans suffer the consequences of climate disruption, our own Governor Martinez is opposing life-saving rules that would clean up our air and water while curbing global warming. We must take the opportunity to build jobs and the economy around climate solutions, because time is running out to act. That is why we are marching—to urge our local, state, and federal governments to take action.

Marchers also called on policymakers to make positive progress on new energy for PNM customers, as they consider the plan for retiring two units of the San Juan coal-fired power plant. “As ratepayers, we don’t want to see dirty coal and nuclear replace San Juan’s coal. Wind and solar are cheaper and healthier, use far less water and avoid the astronomical financial and environmental risks. We are calling on the PRC to protect us and our environment,” said Tom Solomon of 350.org New Mexico.

Former Mayor of Santa Fe and Co-Chair of the City’s Climate Task Force David Coss said, “PNM and the state have an opportunity to develop a bountiful clean-energy economy for New Mexico, but their current plan would cost more to ratepayers and cost far more to our children than a forward-looking alternative with hundreds of megawatts of renewable energy. That’s why we joined this march and are intervening on the San Juan replacement case.”

A broad array of New Mexico organizations joined Saturday’s climate march, from veterans to food providers, from solar installers to religious congregations. “Many of the people our faith communities serve are directly or indirectly affected by the lack of policy addressing carbon emissions and the situations of poverty, immigrants, and refugees,” Rev. Donna McNeil, Director of New Mexico Conference of Churches, commented. “Faith organizations and NGOs continue to pick up the slack. We do need to address policy with eyes open to the human consequences of our inaction.”

“Businesses and individuals all around New Mexico are looking for ways to power their lives in a positive way that makes economic sense and does no harm. New Mexico has the second-highest capacity for solar in the United States, but we are only starting to take advantage of that. Developing renewable energy around the state helps create jobs, stimulates the economy, and reduces the threat of climate disruption but our industry faces threats from some policymakers and industries,” said Maria Hondros of Positive Energy Solar.

 
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