N.M. Governor Urges EPA Guidance on Wetlands Ruling

Date: April 17, 2003

Source: News Room

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help close a legal loophole that would allow pollution of New Mexico's streams. Richardson contends that the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case involving northern Cook County, Illinois and the Army Corps of Engineers created the loophole, which potentially affects one-fifth of New Mexico. At risk, according to Richardson, are the Mimbres and Tularosa river watersheds and the eastern playas, or dry lakes, often used by the oil industry for water discharges. The Supreme Court ruled five-to-four in January 2001 that a Chicago-area landfill could be built because the small bodies of water were exempt.

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